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Students extend support to protesting farmers in national capital

twitter-logoPTI | November 29, 2018 | Updated 21:53 IST

New Delhi, Nov 29 (PTI) University students turned up in large numbers Thursday to support farmers, who converged here from across the country, to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce. The farmers, converged at the Ramlila Ground, on Thursday began a two-day protest and will march to Parliament Street on Friday. Several Delhi University students and professors, under the banner of DU for Farmers, mobilised support ahead of the march and distributed food packets to the farmers. Members from Left-backed students' groups All India Students' Association (AISA) and Students' Federation Of India (SFI) were at the Anand Vihar, Old Delhi and New Delhi railway stations to meet farmers and take them to the ground. The farmers are coming from different parts of the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. "Our members will be sleeping at Ramlila Maidan on Thursday and will march along with the farmers to the Parliament on Friday. "There were around 50 students from JNU, Jamia, DU and Ambedkar University on Thursday," said AISA DU secretary Madhurima Kundu. Despite their exams, many Delhi University students came to Rajghat and distributed food packets to the farmers on way to Ramlila Ground. "The first time, I participated in a protest was during the time when people came out in large numbers after the Nirbhaya gangrape. After that, I have always participated in protests. "Even two years ago, I participated in the peace march held in Delhi University after violence at Ramjas College. More than the exams, showing solidarity towards the cause of farmers is my priority," said Nabila, a first year History (Hons) students at the St Stephen's College. Evita, a first year student of BA (programme) at St Stpehen's also distributed food packets to farmers said the least she could do was show solidarity with the movement. "Many students are here who have exams tomorrow or in the next few days. I did not want to regret later and think, 'I should have been there'. It is because of these farmers that we are getting food. I think the least we can do is show solidarity when they are in our city," she said. Ex-students of TISS Mumbai, Saqib Khan and Pankaj, who had participated in the march by farmers in Mumbai early this year, said they will participate in the Friday march to Parliament Street. "It was quite hot and humid in Mumbai at that time but we had walked around 30 km at that time. After getting to know about this march, we came here since we are now based in Delhi," said Pankaj. Khan said they will be marching with the farmers on Friday towards the Parliament. Bhuvaneshwari, a PhD student from Ambedkar University, said she came to the Ramlila Ground after listening to journalist P Sainath who had urged students of different universities to join the cause. Along with her friend, she had marched with farmers from Nizamuddin Railway station to Ramlila Maidan. Banded under the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which claims to be an umbrella body of 207 organisations of farmers and agricultural workers, said the two-day rally will be one of the largest congregations of farmers in Delhi. The AIKSCC was formed under the aegis of All India Kisan Sabha and other Left-affiliated farmers' bodies in June 2017, after protests by farmers in states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for debt relief and remunerative prices. PTI NIT/SLB SLB ANB ANB

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