The day 12 January, 1998 was a black day for the farmers movement of our country, when the Congress State Government under the leadership of Digvijay Singh crushed brutally the non-violent farmers’ movement by the state police. Under a big conspiracy, Digvijay Singh misused his state police which fired bullets and 24 farmers were martyred. In this incidents 150 farmers were injured due to bullet fire.
The farmers of the district Betul, under the leadership of T.T. Choudhary, had given a memorandum to circle office on 12 December, 1997. In this memorandum they demanded compensation for their damaged crops. But their effort remained unheeded. Again on 18 December 1997 they submitted another memorandum with a short notice, otherwise they would start a big movement for their agricultural losses. Due to inactive conduct of Government officials, the farmers were bound to form “Kisan Sangharsh Samity”. With the formation of this outfit, thousand farmers started indefinite protest (Dharna) against the oppressive Congress regime, in Tehsil Compound.
The state police continued its oppressive attitude towards farmers but on 9th January, 1998 around 75000 farmers marched in Betul protested peacefully. The District Magistrate of Betul came forward and proposed compensation of only Rs. 400 per acre. This little amount was too insufficient to hurt the farmers’ sentiments. Again agitated farmers were on the crossroad and on 11th January, 1998 they siege the Multai Tehsil and all 450 villages of this tehsil. It was a historical Bandh, while police administration tried hard to maintain normal traffic. Farmers opposed the intervention of police authorities. In a response police and Congress hooligans fired few buses and in conspiracy police charged some farmer leaders for this arson. On 12th January 1998, farmer’s leader Dr. Sunilam decided to enter in Tehsil but the state police had already ordered to shoot farmers Dr. Sunilam reached Tehsil office and requested again and again to stop such firing but police authority did not heed his request. They were acting on the order of their Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. The whole drama was to annihilate Dr. Sunilam. He was arrested, beaten brutally by police and faced all kind of police torture.
Madhya Pradesh Government had lodged 66 cases on 250 farmers along with their leader Dr. Sunilam. Additional Session Court of Multai will give the verdict in three cases on 18th October, 2012. Today, 14 years have been passed. All eyes are set on 18th October, 2012.
Dr. Sunilam is a socialist brave heart farmer leader and a courageous friend of the toiling masses. His struggle for the Madhya Pradesh farmers is a significant struggle after independence. Both, the Congress and the BJP (prominent national parties) came into power and showed their negligence about this Multai incident. Both parties are capitalist parties, following the pro-rich economic policies and have nothing to care for farmers, labourers of our country. Along with their negligence we can witness a total failure of Judiciary, Legislative and Administrative Machinery of the state. Even the fourth pillar, media has also played negative role in this Multai incident. This is the character of corporate media.
We appeal all democracy loving people, having faith in liberty to come forward and support Dr. Sunilam and his efforts as farmer leader.