Death After Sexual Assault: Farmers Union Says ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Harassment of Women

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Farmer Protest

Samyukta Kisan Morcha removes tents and banners of ‘Kisan Social Army’ from Tikri protest site and issues appeal for social boycott of the accused

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI— A day after the incident of sexual assault and death of a woman at farmers protest site in Delhi surfaced in media, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an amalgam of 32 famer groups, issued a statement on Monday saying that they stand with the struggle for justice for our deceased woman colleague.

“SKM has already taken strict action against the accused in this case and we are committed to taking this fight for justice to its logical conclusion,” the statement said.
The 26-year-old victim had come from West Bengal to show solidarity with the farmers who are at Singhu Border protest site on Delhi border since November last year.

According to the statement, the woman was assaulted by some people on her way to Delhi and after reaching Tikri border. A week later, she developed high fever, then found Covid positive and admitted to a private hospital in Bahadurgarh. Sadly, on 30th April, she passed away due to Covid, the statement added.

“When this came to the notice of the SKM, we decided to take the strictest possible action. Four days ago, the Tikri committee of SKM removed the tents and banners, etc. of the so-called “Kisan Social Army”. The accused were barred from participating in the movement and a public appeal issued for their social boycott. The SKM has made it clear that the Kisan Social Army was never the authorized social media voice of the SKM and none of its handles have anything to do with the movement.”

In addition to these steps, SKM said, from day one the farmers groups have assured the family of the deceased colleague of every possible support in any legal recourse that they prefer. On Saturday, her father lodged a formal complaint with the police station, Bahadurgarh. The SKM will extend full cooperation to the police in bringing out the truth of this matter. No one shall be spared.

Acknowledging the large-scale participation of women farmers and women farmer leaders in the movement, SKM said it wishes to assure all women farmers and womens’ organisations that there shall be no compromise with women’s freedom, their autonomy and their agency.

“The SKM shall follow zero tolerance for any incident of sexual harassment, assault or violence against women,” said the statement. “We acknowledge that it is the responsibility of the leadership to foster a culture that encourages full and free participation of women in the movement. SKM is committed to creating an institutional mechanism to inquire into and redress any complaint of sexual harassment of any kind.”

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