Farmers’ stir enters Day 7: Here’s all you need to know about the anti-farm law protests
Protests against the three contentious agricultural laws have entered day seven as third round of talks between the government and farmers’ unions remained inconclusive on Tuesday. Farmers, who have been calling for a repeal of what they term as “black laws” since these were passed in September, have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi. While majority of the protesters are from Punjab, in recent days small groups of farmers from neighbouring states, including Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, too, have joined them.
1. Tuesday’s talks between the government and farmers’ unions were not able to break the impasse as the unions didn’t accept the government’s suggestion of setting up a panel to discuss these legislations. After the meeting, farmers’ leaders told media that the stir would continue and the next round of talks will take place on December 3, as originally suggested by the government.
2. A total of 32 farm unions participated in the talks on Tuesday. The government, which was represented by Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar, railway minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state, commerce and industry, Som Prakash, also held a separate meeting with leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).
3. Initially, there were reports that Union defence minister Rajnath Singh would lead government’s talks with the farmers’ unions but instead it were central ministers Tomar, Goyal and Prakash who met the farm leaders.
4. India also issued a strong rebuttal to Canada PM Justin Trudeau who became the first international leader to speak up on the ongoing farmers’ protest. “We’ve seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. These are unwarranted especially when pertaining to internal affairs of a democratic country. It’s also best that diplomatic conversations aren’t misrepresented for political purposes,” the ministry said in a statement.
5. Trudeau, whose country has a large Indian diaspora, including Sikhs, had on Tuesday, on the occasion of Gurpurab, said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t start also by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends.”
6. 82-year-old Bilkis Bano, popularly known as the “Shaheen Bagh Dadi,” was stopped by the Delhi police on Tuesday while on her way to support the protesting farmers at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border. Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, however, joined the protest at the Delhi-Uttar Ghazipur border yesterday.
7. Farmers, most of whom are from Punjab, started their ‘Dilli Chalo’ march on November 26 to protest against the three laws. However, on their way to the national capital, they were met with tear gas and water cannons of the Haryana police but were able to cross the state.
8. On November 27, upon arrival at the Delhi-Haryana border, they faced resistance from the Delhi Police but were later allowed to protest at the Nirankari grounds in Burari as against their demands of protesting at either Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Grounds.
9. While some of the farmers are camping at the Nirankari grounds, others have refused to move. On Sunday, farmers had rejected Union home minister Amit Shah’s offer of talks, calling it “conditional.”
10. The protesters say they intend to block all five highways leading to Delhi until their demands are met. They claim to have enough ration and other essential items with them to “lay siege to the national capital for months.”
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