June 04, 2023

SKM Condemns Attack on Wrestlers, Farmers and Women

THE cowardly BJP government led by Narendra Modi closed borders, arrested many activists and kept many under house-arrest from May 27th onwards to stall democratic protest on May 28, called by the women wrestlers and supported by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha. Borders were closed to stop farmers and women from reaching Delhi. Ironically coming on a day the prime minister inaugurated the new parliament, the measures saw unprecedented use of force.

The women wrestlers as well as other sportspersons along with women and farmers who joined the protest to express their solidarity in the fight against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP member of parliament who is accused of sexual harassment, were forcibly dragged by the police, even disregarding the national flags they held, and took them to various police stations.

Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Poonia and others who won medals for India were assaulted and arrested without any provocation. There is no news of their whereabouts till now. The protest tent where they had been carrying out a peaceful struggle was also totally destroyed by the police. Leaders of different women’s organisations including Subhashini Ali, Jagmati Sangwan, Annie Raja, Poonam Kaushik, Maimoona Mollah, and women farmer leaders Charanjit Kaur Dhurian and Davinder Kaur Hardaspura and others were detained. SKM is of the opinion that this exposes BJP’s anti-women, undemocratic character and how low they can stoop to protect people accused of sexual harassment. It shows the hollowness of the prime minister’s Beti Bachao slogan.

Thousands were coming in solidarity with the women wrestlers to attend the Mahila Samman Mahapanchayat. Repression was unleashed and thousands were arrested in Rohtak, Hisar, Bhiwani, Jind, Fatehabad, Sampla, Palwal, Gurgaon and other places. Women and farmers from Punjab were detained at Punjab-Haryana border near Narwana. They blocked the National Highway in protest. Hundreds were detained at Gurudwara Manji Sahib at Ambala City. Many farmers were detained near Singhu border and taken to police stations in Sonepat. Farmers marching to Tikri border numbering about thousand were detained. SKM leader Rakesh Tikait and over 2000 farmers reached Gazipur border where they were stopped. Farmers were even detained from railway stations and bus stands.

SKM calls upon all democratic sections to rise up in protest. SKM warns the Narendra Modi led BJP government that the struggle will be intensified and carried on till the sexual harassers are arrested and punished.

AIDWA Condemns Repression

AIDWA strongly condemns the repression unleashed by the Modi government. The detention of people going to Mahila Samman Panchayat at the new parliament building today reveals its authoritarian face. The police have been detaining activists and leaders from their residences and while walking towards the parliament.

It is outrageous that the protesting wrestlers have been brutally manhandled by the police and arrested. Their protest site has been dismantled and destroyed by the police.

AIDWA vice president Subhashini Ali, Jagmati Sangwan, Delhi president Maimoona Mollah, Annie Raja (NFIW), Poonam Kaushik (PMS) and others have been arrested with other women activists. 

Along with hundreds of women, activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) have also been detained. Bus-loads of farmers from the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) are being prevented from entering Delhi.

Those who had already reached Jantar Mantar broke through the police barricade and pushed toward the new parliament, facing more police crackdown along the way. The internet is down in central Delhi.  

AIDWA stands in solidarity with wrestlers and all activists who are safeguarding democracy by supporting the movement. We demand that the arrested wrestlers and all those detained be released forthwith.