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Women hold ‘Kisan Sansad’ at Jantar Mantar, debate changes to Essential Commodities Act

New Delhi, July 25 (MNN) Even as the protests by farmers against the three central farm laws completed eight months, they organised an all-women ‘Kisan Sansad’ in central Delhi on Monday to highlight their cause.

A total of 200 women protesters – including 100 from Punjab – were earlier in the day bussed from the protest spot at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border under police escort to the Jantar Mantar, where the protesting farmers have been holding ‘Kisan Sansad’ since July 22 in batches.

The ‘Mahila Kisan Sansad’ saw the participation of 100 women from Punjab and 100 from other states. The roles of Speakers and Deputy Speakers were also played be women at the event.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha said that the ‘Mahila Kisan Sansad’ held day-long debate on amendments brought about by the Indian government to the Essential Commodities Act in 2020 and condemned the alleged legal sanction given to hoarding and black marketing.

The women representatives demanded a repeal of the amendments made in 2020 immediately. The participants also paid homage to the Kargil martyrs on the 22nd anniversary of the Vijay Diwas on Monday.

The protesters will pass its decisions/resolutions on July 27.  On the subsequent two days, the ‘Kisan Sansad’ debate will focus on the Contract Farming Act enacted by the Union government,” the body representing the protesting farmers said.

“The harmful implications of this law would not just be or farmers but consumers everywhere. The women protesters pointed out that in the name of export orders, any amount of hoarding can be done by big capitalists, even in the case of extreme emergencies in the country. The government has given up its mandate, intent and power to protect the interests of ordinary citizens, through this 2020 law,” the SKM said.

“Given the gendered roles thrust on women to take care of food security of the household, this law undermines women’s ability to provide for food security,” the ‘Mahila Kisan Sansad’ pointed out.

The ‘Mahila Kisan Sansad’ also resolved unanimously that there should be 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state Assemblies on the pattern of local bodies.

Women also led the protests in a majority of protest sites at 108 locations across Punjab, including outside corporate outlets, Adani dry port, toll plazas etc.

The SKM — which represents over 40 organisations of farmers — is spearheading the protests on the Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders since November 26 last year.

The SKM earlier said that it was “quite shameful” that the BJP-led government in India was making repeated statements that it has no records of the deaths of farmers in the ongoing agitation.

A group of women’s rights activists of Delhi who visited the Jantar Mantar to welcome ‘Mahila Kisan Sansad’ participants were detained by Delhi Police for several hours on Monday at the Barakhamba police station before their release.
Meanwhile, Ruldu Singh Mansa of the Punjab Kisan Union has been suspended for 15 days for his allegedly provocative speech that hurt Sikh sentiments, the SKM said.

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