Azamgarh— On Friday, a demonstration was organized to commemorate the 100th day of the movement opposing the acquisition of land for the proposed International Airport in Khiriya Bagh, located in the Azamgarh district. A large number of farmers and laborers participated in the procession, which began at Khiria Bagh and passed through the towns of Hasanpur, Lakshehra, Shrikantpur, Garhhan, and Jigina Karmanpur. The participants raised slogans such as "the land will not be ceded," "Who makes India? Peasants and farmers," "Cancel the master plan for airport expansion," "We fought against colonialism and now we will fight against theft," and "The airport is just an excuse, the true intention is to seize our land".
Dr. Ashish Mittal, General Secretary of All India Mazdoor Kisan Sabha and a member of the drafting committee of United Kisan Morcha, stated that the proposed international airport is not intended for the benefit of the public, but rather for the benefit of foreign corporations. He further declared that the Modi government, having been forced to yield to the demands of the people, will once again have to capitulate to the Khiria Bagh movement. He also mentioned that while the police were using batons against citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, the farmers were providing them with food.
Mittal also added that the government and administration are contravening land acquisition laws, and that the Kisan Morcha stands in solidarity with the farmers and laborers movement in Azamgarh. He further stated that the entire country is being sold to foreign companies and e-commerce has taken away the livelihoods of small shopkeepers, but this movement has given hope to the entire nation.
Sampurnanand Mall, known as the "Gandhi of Gorakhpur to Purvanchal," also said that the government is engaging in deceitful tactics and that farmers should not give up an inch of their land. He argued that an international airport that takes away lives cannot be considered as development. He also declared that if the project is not canceled, he will support the movement by going on a fast unto death. And he stated that the government should not dare to destroy their homes. United Kisan Morcha will hold a meeting of farmer leaders in Khiria Bagh on January 21st and 22nd, and on the call of United Kisan Morcha, a farmers parade will be organized on Republic Day on January 26th.
Rajkumar Bharat, who previously led a campaign against the Farm Laws, also plans to escalate his movement and is currently staying in the village of Azamgarh. He said that this is a unique type of movement and that the struggle will be prolonged. He emphasized that this is the first movement in which farmers are not seeking compensation for their land, but rather are determined to retain possession of it. He pledged that the farmers will be willing to sacrifice their lives but will not relinquish their land, and that they will not allow even an inch of it to be taken away.
The procession was joined by Karan Nishad and Kamlesh Nishad from Allahabad, Rajkumar Bharat from Haryana-Punjab and activists such as Rajeev Yadav, Vinod Yadav, Virendra Yadav, Rajesh Azad, Awadhesh Yadav, and Om Prakash Bharti. The procession was led by Kismati Devi and was moderated by Ramnayan Yadav.