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Team probe into Gharsana atrocities

Written by: Staff
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Jaipur, Oct 25: Several social and human rights organsiations will send a fact-finding committee to Gharsana in November to ascertain the facts and probe the alleged police atrocities on agitating farmers and their families.

While strongly criticising the state government's "suppression" of the farmers, representatives of these organisations here today in a press conference pledged to intensify the agitation by involving more people in the farmers' movement for irrigation water.

The various events will start off with paying tributes to the farmers killed in police firing in Gharsana in 2004. The function will be held at Ramniwas Bagh's Martyr's Corner here on October 27.

Street plays, corner meetings and posters and pamphlets are intended to make the common people aware of the difficulties the farmers are facing.

The fact-finding committee will comprise members from the fields of law, agriculture, water and media apart from representatives of CITU, Aituc, SFI, PUCL, Janwadi Mahila Sangathan, Samagra Seva Gram among others will submit its report at a seminar later here.

Ravindra Shukla, CITU's state secretary said the farmers's agitation in Gharsana was unique in many ways with not only farmers but labourers, and businessmen actively supporting it. Gharsana is one of the largest cotton mandis in Asia.

He said the state government had been repressing the farmers' peaceful agitation with baton and bullets rather than implementation of the water agreement signed in 2004 in relation to Phase I area of Indira Gandhi Canal Project (IGCP).

He alleged that this year cotton crops have been destroyed for want of water. He said as lands in Phase II and III had been auctioned off, they had to provide water to the rich-landed class, and in the process had deprived the Phase I farmers of their rightful irrigation water from IGCP.

He said Gharsana ealier used to produce aorund 10 lakh cotton bales, which now had been reduced to mere 10,000 bales, basically for want of water.

UNI

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