Farmers' Protest Highlights: UN human rights chief hopes for 'equitable solution' to farmers' agitation
Farmers' Highlights: The 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 94th day today
Farmers' Protest Highlights: The 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 94th day today. Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest along Delhi borders. The protest started on November 26, 2020. The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP)
system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate. Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming. The Supreme Court had earlier ordered a stay on the implementation of these contentious laws, hoping it will end the protest. The farm union leaders have also rejected the Centre's proposal to suspend implementation of the laws for 18 months. On January 26, the protest turned violent when some farmers deviated from a pre-decided route for their Republic Day tractor rally and clashed with police. Some protesters scaled the ramparts of the Red Fort. Several protestors and police personnel were injured in the ensuing clashes. The farmers' unions also held a 'chakka jam' on February 6 where they blocked national and state highways to protest the internet ban in areas near their agitation sites and harassment allegedly meted out to them by authorities, among other issues.
Indian paramilitary force soldiers stand guard next to barbwire barricades after protesting farmers made a call to block highways, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. Tens of thousands of protesting Indian farmers blocked highways across the country for three hours Saturday to press their demands for the repeal of new agricultural laws. (AP Photo/Rishabh Jain)
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | On the ongoing farmers' agitation against the Centre's three agricultural reforms laws, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said, "Our government is not against farmers but if one law is repealed, there would be pressure to withdraw all laws. The government is ready for amendment in the farm law."
February 27, 2021 / 03:18 PM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | More than three months have passed since the farmers agitation began. At present the number of people at the Ghazipur Border appears to be thinning, particularly in the last one month. In fact this has been the case at the sites of protest on Delhi's borders ever since the violence on Republic Day, January 26. At the Ghazipur Border in particular, the numbers have reduced signficantly compared to the same date last month.
According to the farmers on the border, the number of agitators at the protest sites keeps changing since the farmers keep coming and going, particularly in the harvest season. When we asked Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) media in-charge Dharmendra Malik about the dwindling numbers, he said: "We are organising a rally at Saharanpur on Sunday in which Rakesh Tikait will also participate. That is why most farmers have gone there. Let two panchayats be over, the crowds will again begin arriving to the Ghazipur border. At present, 20-25 tractors are about to reach the Ghazipur border."
February 27, 2021 / 01:50 PM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | As many as 141 farmers have committed suicide in Chhattisgarh in the last 10 months, the state government informed the legislative Assembly on Friday. The issue of farmer suicides rocked the Assembly, with the opposition BJP demanding a probe into these cases and seeking compensation for the kin of deceased farmers. The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik during the Question Hour, when he sought to know how many farmers had committed suicide between April 2020 and February 1, 2021 in the state and the reasons for these deaths.
He also enquired about the action taken in these cases and compensation given to families of the deceased. In response, state Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey said 141 farmers had committed suicide during the period. (PTI)
February 27, 2021 / 11:19 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | R-day violence: Court says police duty-bound to conduct impartial probe
A Delhi court on Friday directed the city police to conduct proper investigation into the case related to the Republic Day violence at the Red Fort, in which actor-activist Deep Sidhu is an accused, and said that the investigating officer is not supposed to collect evidences only to prove the guilt of the accused. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gajendra Singh Nagar passed the directions on an application filed by Sidhu seeking fair and impartial investigation in the case by the agencies. He sought to present certain evidences on record like CCTV footage, phone location and data from the car navigation system to prove his innocence.
Sidhu claimed that these evidences are not being considered by the police. "Media trial has happened, and the story woven around me is that I'm the main person. Every time the investigating agency comes and submits that while seeking my custody," his counsel Advocate Abhishek Gupta told the court on his behalf. On his contentions, the judge ordered, "Police officers are directed to investigate on the points as mentioned in the application made by the complainant to unearth the truth. Furthermore, appropriate action may be taken and appropriate sections may be added if the accused is trying to mislead the investigation by fabricating false evidence." (Ians)
February 27, 2021 / 10:42 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | 19 Himachal groups extend support to protesting farmers
Nineteen social organisations, women's bodies and farmer groups in Himachal Pradesh on Friday issued a joint statement in solidarity with the three-month-long farmers' agitation in the country. Demanding that the three Central farm laws be repealed, the statement called for strengthening the minimum support price (MSP) system and extending it to different crops, especially the fruits and vegetables grown in the state.
The statement was critical of the 'non-democratic' manner in which the farm Bills were passed in the Parliament in a hurry in the middle of the Covid-induced lockdown. The organisations, comprising the All India Democratic Women's Association, the Bhumiheen Bhumi Adhikar Manch and the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, condemned the laws, saying they were designed to benefit the corporate houses.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020 has the potential of destroying the government led-APMCs, they said. The second law on contract farming puts the farmers in the dock by not just exposing them to risks when getting into contracts with companies, but also by closing the door of the courts for redressal for farmers. (Ians)
February 27, 2021 / 09:47 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Farmer who died in Republic Day violence had no gunshot wounds: UP and Delhi police to HC
The 25-year-old farmer, who died after his tractor overturned during the protesting farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day, did not suffer any gunshot wounds, the police of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have told the Delhi High Court. The police of the two states have made the submission relying upon the post-mortem and x-ray reports, given by the District Hospital at Rampur in UP, which prima facie state that "there was no gunshot injury in the body of the deceased".
Delhi Police has said that according to the post-mortem report the young farmer died due to a head injury as a result of the accident and all his injuries were possible in a road accident. The submissions have been made in response to a plea by the deceased's grandfather -- Hardeep Singh -- claiming that the victim suffered gunshot injuries to his head.
The petition, filed through advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee, has sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of the young farmer. The high court on Friday listed the matter for further hearing on March 4.
February 27, 2021 / 09:12 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Kisan Congress protests outside agri minister's house, demands withdrawal of farm laws
All India Kisan Congress members protested outside Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar's residence here against the Centre's three farm laws on Friday and demanded their withdrawal. Kisan Congress vice president Surendra Solanki said protesters surrounded the residence of the agriculture minister in an "attempt to awaken the sleeping government" over the plight of farmers.
Ever since the enactment of the "three black laws", the Kisan Congress has stood with the farmers and supported their cause, he said. "The farmers will fight till the end and the government should meet their demands and withdraw the three black laws," Solanki said. Some activists were briefly detained during the protest. (PTI)
February 27, 2021 / 08:31 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Friday expressed hope that the ongoing dialogue efforts between the Indian government and the farmers protesting against the new farm laws will lead to an "equitable solution" to the "crisis" that respects the rights of all.
Updating the UN Human Rights Council on recent human rights issues in more than 50 countries, including China, Pakistan and Russia, Bachelet also criticised the action taken against journalists and activists covering the protests by farmers and efforts to curb freedom of expression on social media. Responding to Bachelet's statement, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, said that the Government of India has set a goal of doubling the income of farmers by 2024.
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Protesting farmers stop wheat-laden train in Punjab's Moga
A group of farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm laws on Friday stopped a wheat-laden train in Punjab's Moga district. The train was stopped at the Dagru railway station after it came out of a privately-owned grain silo in Dagru village, the police said.
The protesting farmers sat down on the tracks, saying they would not allow the train to go out of the state, they added. The move was part of the protesting farmers' agitation against big corporates, said Baldev Singh Zeera, state general secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Krantikari). (PTI)
February 27, 2021 / 07:29 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Digvijaya Singh challenges BJP to discuss, debate farm laws with him
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh on Friday said the Centre must keep the three new farm laws in abeyance for one and a half years and challenged the ruling BJP to discuss and debate it with him clause by clause. He was speaking at a press conference called to announce the holding of 'kisan mahapanchayats' (deliberative congregations) in Delanpur in Ratlam on March 4, followed by Digthan in Dhar, in Badnagar in Ujjain and Shajapur on March 5, and in Shyampur in Sehore on March 6.
He said the 'kisan mahapanchayats' will be apolitical events and those attending will carry national flags and not ones associated with parties or outfits. "If the government is serious about farmers, it must bring an ordinance to hold in abeyance the three agriculture laws for one-and-a-half years. For three months, farmers have been protesting, but no solution could be found due to the arrogance of the Central government," Singh said.
February 27, 2021 / 07:27 AM IST
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Agitating farmers observe 'Yuva Kisan Diwas' at protest sites against agri laws
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of the farmer unions agitating against three new agriculture laws of the Centre, observed "Yuva Kisan Diwas" at the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri border protest sites on Friday. In a statement, the SKM said the stages put up at the protest sites were managed by youngsters as they vowed to make the movement a success and that they will not let the sacrifice of many of them "go waste".
The protesting farmers also paid tributes to 18-year-old Navjot Singh, who passed away at the Singhu border on Friday. The statement said youngsters stressed on the "increasing unemployment and privatisation of education" and accused the government of orchestrating policies to displace them from agriculture and villages.
Welcoming the Punjab and Haryana High Court order to release Nodeep Kaur on bail, the SKM said she fought for "kisan-mazdoor" unity and lent strength to the movement. Kaur was arrested for allegedly gheraoing an industrial unit and demanding money from the company in Haryana's Sonipat on January 12.
February 27, 2021 / 07:26 AM IST
Good morning! Hello and welcome to Moneycontrol’s coverage of the farmers’ protest. The 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 94th day today. Stay tuned to this LIVE blog for the latest updates through the day.