ITUC-Asia Pacific stands in solidarity with the Indian farmers and workers as they remember the heart-wrenching events in Lakhimpur Kheri two years ago by observing the Black Day today, 3 October. The 3rd of October 2021 was marked by the loss of four farmers and a reporter who were allegedly hit by the government Minister's son's convoy – an incident that shook the nation.
Their sacrifice remains a stark reminder of the struggles faced by farmers and workers in their fight for justice and their rightful place in society. Although one of their major demands, i.e., repealing the three farm laws, was accepted after a huge struggle, many other demands of farmers and workers remain unfulfilled. These genuine demands that the government previously committed to act on include the legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP), withdrawal of cases registered against farmers, compensation to families of farmers who died during the protest, severe punishment for the culprits of Lakhimpur Kheri’s massacre, pension, debt waiver, and withdrawal of the Electricity Bill.
Today, 3rd October, a 'Black Day' is being observed by farmers and workers by holding protests, demonstrations, and public meetings across India to reiterate the aforesaid demands. The call for the protest and the observance of a ‘Black Day’ was made at the All India Joint Convention of Workers and Farmers held in Delhi on 24 August 2023, on behalf of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Farmers’ Federation) and the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions/Federations. Both workers and farmers harbour a strong feeling of being duped by the false promises of the current government.
ITUC-Asia Pacific affiliates in the region are extending their solidarity to the struggling Indian workers and farmers and are joining the calls for justice to the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre and end of impunity.
"We support the demands of trade unions and farmers in India to end policies favouring big corporations, urging the immediate withdrawal of these laws. Urgent tripartite discussions and comprehensive social security measures for all workers are essential steps towards a more just and equitable future," Shoya Yoshida, ITUC-Asia Pacific General Secretary, said.