Marking a year of their protest at the Delhi borders, farmers’ unions have planned rallies and dharnas on Friday to push for their remaining demand after the Centre agreed to repeal the three farm reforms laws. Thousands of farmers have been camping at three border points of Delhi — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — since November last year voicing their opposition to the three farm reform laws that Centre had brought.
Farmers have planned rallies and dharnas gathering in large numbers at Delhi’s borders to mark the occasion. In response, the Delhi Police beefed up security arrangements at various border points.
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Thousands of farmers from parts of neighbouring states, particularly Punjab and Haryana were heading towards the Delhi borders. Farmers were reported to be reaching Delhi borders from districts such as Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Ambala, Hisar, Sirsa, Rohtak, Kurukshetra and Bhiwani.
“On the call of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to mark one year of the historic farm movement with massive protests at Delhi, morchas at the capitals and district headquarters of distant states, farmers and workers are responding in huge numbers,” read a statement issued by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions that is spearheading the protest.
“Thousands of farmers have started arriving at various protest sites in Delhi. In states which are far away from Delhi, preparations are underway to mark the event with rallies, dharnas and other programmes,” reported news agency PTI quoting the SKM’s statement.
A large group of farmers, associated with Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chadhuni), left for Delhi from Fatehabad early Friday.
SECURITY BEEFED UP
The Delhi Police has beefed up security at various border points of the city. Police said additional deployment of paramilitary forces, along with Delhi Police personnel, was made at the places where the agitating farmers were on a sit-in.
Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order Division Zone – 1) Dependra Pathak was quoted by PTI as saying, “Adequate security deployment has been made and there will be close supervision by senior police officers on the ground. We are using professional policing to avoid any untoward incident.”
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Police officials said in case the protesters tried to cross the border or created a nuisance, they would be dealt with strictly.
CENTRE TO REPEAL FARM REFORMS LAWS
Amid a massive stir over the three agricultural reforms laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that the Centre would repeal three laws that were enacted in September last year. The Union cabinet too has cleared a bill, The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 in this regard. It would be tabled in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament. The Winter Session of Parliament begins November 29.
Despite PM Modi urging farmers to “go home to their families and start afresh”, the unions representing farmers refused to leave the protest site. They said they would not end their protest until the farm laws were repealed officially. Protesting farmers also said that they needed to discuss other issues including Minimum Support Price (MSP) with the Centre.
“This protest will not end yet. We have a meeting on November 27 after which we will take further decisions. [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi has said farmers’ income would be doubled from January 1, so will ask him how it would be done. Farmers’ victory will be ensured when they get the right price for their crops,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait tweeted in Hindi on Thursday.