Siliguri: Over 30,000 farmers and agricultural labourers from six North Bengal districts held a long march at Siliguri in North Bengal, protesting against the anti-farmer policies of the Modi-led Union Government and the Mamata-led State Government. It was organised by the All India Kisan Sabha and the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union.
Siliguri city area residents, mostly from urban working-class background, joined hands with their peasant brethren, providing over 1 lakh rotis for the marching people, many of whom had come from far flung mountainous belts or distant rural areas in the Bengal-Assam or Bengal-Bangladesh border.
Thousands of people carrying red flags marched along the 5 km long route from the Mahananda river embankment to the North Bengal Secretariat Uttorkanya in Siliguri. Originally, the Long March had been planned from the Dagapur Tea garden to the North Bengal Secretariat. But it had to be curtailed as a fearful state government refused to give permission. Even the alternative route suggested by the AIKS and AIAWU was refused by the police and administration.
Earlier this year, over 50,000 thousand farmers and agricultural workers had marched from Singur to Kolkata Raj Bhawan highlighting the growing farmers discontent against the anti-people policies of the state and union government.