Farmers’ groups to continue protest at Delhi border, to discuss strategy later
Farmers’ groups on Saturday decided they will not go to Delhi and have decided to continue their protests against the three farm bills at the Singhu border even after they were allocated a place in the Capital’s Burari to hold their agitation. “It has been decided that we will continue our protest here and will not go anywhere else. We will meet at 11am every day to discuss our strategy,” Harinder Singh, the general secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, told ANI.
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana began their march towards Delhi on November 25 demanding that the Centre repeal the three farm bills that were passed during Parliament’s monsoon session. They broke barricades and clashed with the police at the border on Friday and vowed to march towards Delhi. Delhi Police on Friday allowed them to hold peaceful demonstrations at a ground in Burari.
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“Permission for conducting a peaceful protest has already been granted. Delhi Police is all set for facilitating protestors to proceed to Burari ground. We request protestors to behave responsibly,” Gaurav Sharma, Delhi Police’s deputy commissioner of Outer North District, was quoted as saying by ANI.
Earlier on Saturday, Union minister for agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar requested farmers to halt their agitations and discuss issues they are facing with the Centre of December 3. He said, “The government is ready for talks with farmer unions to resolve their issues. We have invited them for talks on December 3. I hope that they will come to the meeting. I urge political parties not to play politics in the name of farmers.”
Farmers’ bodies across India have lashed out at the Centre for bringing in the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. Farmers believe that these three bills will affect MSP procurement and allow multinational companies to earn huge profits.
The Centre continues to assure farmers that these bills will pave the way for increasing income of the farmers and promote a level-playing field where farmers can sell their yields for higher prices. It has also assured farmers on numerous occasions that the system of MSP will not be affected by the passage of these three bills.