Thursday, 20 January 2022

Farmers End 15-Month Protest and to Vacate Delhi Border

Farmers End 15-Month Protest and to Vacate Delhi Border

Farmers who have been protesting for over 15 months against the farm laws and many other issues, including a legal guarantee of MSP, have announced that they will end their protest on Saturday, 11th December, and return to their homes.

Today, the farmers' unions have planned a Fateh Ardas (victory prayer) at 5:30 pm today. Sources said a Fateh March (victory march) at Singhu and Tikri protest sites on Delhi's borders on 11th December around 9 am and added that Punjab farm leaders plan to pay respect at Golden Temple in Amritsar on 13th December. The SKM will hold another meeting in Delhi on 15th December.

Yesterday, the Center had sent a written draft proposal to the SKM's five-member committee following a 21st November letter from the SKM to PM Modi listing six demands. Farmers had indicated that repeal of the contentious laws was only one of the various concerns they had raised and declined to leave after PM announced the canceling of the laws and requested them to go back.

As part of its offer, the Center has agreed to form a committee to decide the MSP issue. The committee will involve government officials, agriculture experts, and representatives from SKM, the umbrella body of farmer unions that has led this protest.

Farmers End 15 Month Protest and to Vacate Delhi Border 1Twitter image: @RakeshTikaitBKU

Read More: Farmers likely to call off 15-month protest today after Central government agreed with all demands

The Centre has also agreed to drop all police cases against farmers. This includes stalks burning complaints, and those filed by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in connection with brutal clashes with security forces over the past several months. It has assured the farmers that all cases against them relating to the protests will be immediately withdrawn and has appealed to all states to do the same.

Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have given in-principle agreement to compensation for farmers who lost their lives, and Punjab has already made an announcement, the Centre's letter says.

The Bill on electricity will also be introduced only after consulting all stakeholders, including SKM, regarding the sections that affect farmers.

Last week, farmers said Home Minister spoke to them on the phone call to discuss outstanding issues after their protests forced the call back of the farm laws.

The protesting farmers have been unsure of the government's intent and had asserted that they would leave after all cases registered against them during the protests. Those relating to stubble burning were canceled. The 2016 Jat agitation for reservation said that the government has failed to withdraw legal cases even after assurances.

A lengthy meeting of farmers from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha was held on Tuesday evening at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border. To consider the Centre's offer, the meet had concluded without agreeing on how to proceed.

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