Shivamogga, May 25: Farmers from Shivamogga and nearby regions in Karnataka on Saturday gathered at the memorial site built near Nagasamudra village in remembrance of the farmers killed in the 1980 police firing.
Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, president of the state Raitha Sangh, said the Nagasamudra incident was an important date in the history of farmers' movements. He added that brutal suppression of the Naragunda rebellion by the erstwhile Congress government using police forces was a "black day."
"Nagasamudra incident is an important date in the history of peasant movements in Karnataka. In 1980, Naragunda rebellion started in Gadag district, Dudda in Hassan district and simultaneously at Nagasamudra in Shivamogga. Congress government led by Gundurao fired on farmers, that was a black day for us," Chandrashekhar told ANI.
He asserted that the farmers had kept memories of the firing fresh in their minds and hoped it would help shape the course of future movements.
"We are remembering and keeping history alive. Leaders of this region with the support of villagers built this memorial, it is the first of its kind and I wish it will attract more people and help them in rethinking the movements in future," he added.
The heavy-handed manner in which the then chief minister R Gundu Rao handled the farmer uprising in Navalgund and Nargund taluks of the Malaprabha project area in Dharwar in 1980 helped the Raitha Sangha consolidate its position as a state-wide body.
Two farmers who were killed in police firing at that time became the martyrs of the farmer's movement and also made the Raitha Sangha became the most vocal and focal forum of the farmers' lobby in Karnataka.
Farmers gather in Shivamogga to remember victims of 1980 police firing