At the call of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and other peasant unions, the protesting peasants blocked state and national highways –in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamilnadu. The police disrupted the protests and detained the protestors in several states, including in Delhi.
Everywhere, the peasants and workers reiterated the demand for the repeal of the anti-peasant laws, the guarantee of MSP and condemned the Modi government for using brute force to muzzle the protests and for its diabolical attempts to defame the movement.
Despite very intense police arrangements in the capital with tens of hundreds of armed police and Rapid Action Force deployed everywhere in Central Delhi and at the Red Fort, trade unions, student, youth and women organisations and civil society groups gathered at Shahid Park in Delhi in support of the peasants.
Thousands of protestors in Punjab blocked highways and roads at several places despite heavy police deployment. At Bhatinda, safai karamcharis belonging to Safai-Sevak Union Punjab also joined the protest in solidarity. Similar scenes of blockade were seen at Mansa-Sirsa highway and different districts of Punjab including Ludhiana and Patiala.
In Madhya Pradesh, the peasants observed the “Chakka Jaam” at more than 150 sites. Peasants protested for 3-hours, cooking rotis on the state highway in Ujjain and blocking national highways in Gwalior and in Seoni. Peasants under the banner of All India Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (AIKSS) and Samyukt Kisan Morcha and AIKS, blocked roads NH-3 amid heavy police deployment in Dewas, Gwalior and Morena. Peasants also blocked roads in Hoshangabad, Jabalpur, Sagar, Jabalpur, Rewa, Satna, Katni, Mandsaur, Indore, Dhar and other districts.
In Maharashtra, thousands of peasants participated in the action in Palghar district on the call of the Joint Farmer Labour Struggle Committee of Maharashtra. Another strong protest took place in Nanded district, where the roads were completely blocked. In Nasik district, peasants protested and submitted a memorandum to the head of the tehsil revenue office. There were protests at the Ankaleshwar – Burhanpur highway, in Ahmednagar and Kolhapur. Workers and peasants organisations held chakka jaam in several places in Mumbai including Kurla.
In Andhra Pradesh, Rasta Rokos were held in over 100 centres 12 pm – 3 pm on all major highways across the state by the peasants’ organisations. Several districts of the state, including Vizianagaram, Anantapur, Vijayawada, Guntur, Eluru, Srikakulam, Tirupathi, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool witnessed blockades of highways.
“Chakka Jaam” was successful across districts in Telangana even as hundreds of peasants were detained in Adilabad, Peddapalli, Mahabubabad, Mahaboobnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts following road blockades. Peasants and agricultural workers from remote villages and tribal hamlets joined the protests in the state. A huge citizens’ protest was held in Nalagonda district, which included members of the National Alliance of People’s Movements, Human Rights Forum and Rythu Swarajya Vedika.
Road traffic was totally hit across Bihar during the ‘chakka jaam’ by peasants. Thousands of peasants and workers of the opposition Mahagathbandhan took to the streets and blocked most of the national and state highways and main roads connecting different towns and district headquarters. Dozens of peasants’ organisations under the Bihar Rajya Kisan Sabha organised protests in the state. Patna, Begusarai, Gaya, Arwal, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Katihar, Purnea, Bhojpur and Buxar districts saw blockade of roads.
Over 300 places saw ‘chakka jaam’ action in West Bengal across several districts including Haldia and East Medinipore, Burdwan, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, West Burdwan, Birbhum and Bankura. In the North 24 Paragans, mill workers also joined the protest.
Protests and roadblocks took place in Guhawati, Silchar, Karimganj, Karbi Anglong and Goalpara in Assam.
In Tamilnadu, thousands of peasants took to the streets in more than 100 locations across the state. Besides supporting the demands for the repeal of the agri-laws and guarantee of MSP, they were demanding fair compensation for the crops damaged during the January rains and the scrapping of the Chennai- Salem green corridor road announced for the 2021-22 financial year. The peasants unions plan a protest march to the government secretariat on 11th February, when they will be joined by the cane sugar growers demanding MSP of Rs.5000 per tonne and payment of their arrears from private, cooperative and public sector mills.
Prior to the 6th February all-India protest action, peasants rallied together in mahapanchayats in villages across the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in defiance of all attempts by the State to disrupt the rallies.
Governments in UP and Haryana had refused permission for such gatherings. They had issued notices to the peasants to sign bonds of Rs.50000-Rs.2 lakh to “ensure peace”! The peasants defied the refusal of permission as well as the notices. Notices were given to 50,000 peasants in just Sitapur in UP by the administration on 3rd February. Two days later, on 5th February, more than half a dozen protest leaders of Baghpat received notices for each one to sign Rs. 2 lakh worth bond to “ensure peace”.
At the same time, thousands of peasants have resumed their march towards the Delhi borders and the number of protestors are swelling at the Singhu, Tikri, Shahjahanpur and Gazipur sites. This is despite the fact that the Centre is cutting off power, water supply and internet connection to the sites. There are hundreds of contingents of Delhi Police manning the borders to Delhi supported by layers of concrete barriers, barbed wire and nails driven on the ground to ensure that the protestors do not cross over to Delhi.