Farmers' candle march, plea in SC to consider demands: Top 10 developments | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Farmers to hold candle march today; plea in Supreme Court to consider reasonable demands: Top 10 developments

Feb 24, 2024 09:03 AM IST

Thousands of farmers remain camped at Khanauri and Shambhu borders with their tractor-trolleys and trucks agitating for their demands.

Farmers agitating to press their demand for higher prices for their crops will stay put at the two interstate border points till February 29 when the next course of action will be decided, their leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said on Friday. The decision to camp at the two protest sites – Shambhu and Khanauri – was taken by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), which are spearheading the ongoing agitation. Thousands of farmers began a ‘Delhi Chalo’ march last week but were stopped by security forces about 200 km north of the capital. The death of a farmer in clashes with security forces galvanised the protest, with Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which had till then stayed away, joining the stir.

Farmers burn effigies during the 'Black Day' protest at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala district, Friday. (PTI)
Farmers burn effigies during the 'Black Day' protest at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala district, Friday. (PTI)

Here are the latest developments from farmers protest:

  1. Kisan Mazdoor Morcha leader Pandher said a candle march will be held on February 24, seminars will be organised on issues related to farmers on February 25, effigies of the World Trade Organization and the Centre will be burnt on February 26, and several meetings of SKM (Non-Political) and KMM will be held over the next two days.
  2. Farmers burned effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers in his government on Friday as they sought to expand their protest. Black flags were hoisted on tractors and trolleys lined up at the protest site on Friday. Several protesters, most of whom are Sikhs from Punjab, also tied black cloth over their turbans in solidarity.
  3. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced a compensation of 1 crore and a government job for the sister of farmer Shubhkaran Singh, who lost his life at the Khanauri border point during clashes between protesting farmers and police. Mann expressed condolences for Singh's death and assured that strict action would be taken against those responsible. Farmer leaders had demanded financial assistance and a job for Singh's family, along with "martyr" status for him.
  4. The cremation of Shubhkaran Singh is on hold until the Punjab government registers a case against those deemed responsible, according to farmer leaders participating in the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation. Despite Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann's announcement of compensation and a job for Shubhkaran's sister, farmer leaders insist on legal action against the culprits before proceeding with cremation. They accused Punjab government officials of pressuring Shubhkaran's family into agreeing to the cremation without fulfilling their demands.
  5. A plea was submitted to the Supreme Court urging the Indian government to address the reasonable demands of farmers engaged in peaceful protests. Agnostos Theos, Managing Director of the Sikh Chamber of Commerce, filed the plea seeking Supreme Court direction to halt violence against protestors, remove barricades, and honour the farmers' call for implementing the Swaminathan committee's recommendations. The plea also called for unblocking social media accounts, preserving free speech, and registering FIRs against government actions hindering peaceful protests.
  6. The Haryana Police said it is withdrawing its earlier decision to invoke provisions of the National Security Act (NSA) against some farmer leaders who are a part of the ongoing farmers' agitation.
  7. A 62-year-old farmer, Darshan Singh from Amargarh village in Bathinda district, passed away from a heart attack while participating in the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation at Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border, as confirmed by farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher. This adds to the series of deaths during the ongoing protests, including a 72-year-old and a 63-year-old who also succumbed to heart attacks, along with a 21-year-old who died in clashes between Haryana Police and Punjab farmers.
  8. Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary urged patience from farmers protesting for minimum support price, saying a solution would definitely emerge. He appealed for restraint from "both sides" as he expressed his sorrow at the death of the young farmer during the clashes at the Khanauri border of Punjab and Haryana.
  9. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a waiver of interest and penalty on certain crop loans and did not hike taxes in the 1.89-lakh-crore budget for 2024-25. Presenting the state's budget, Khattar asserted that his government has taken many steps for the welfare of the farmers and that Minimum Support Price is being given for 14 crops.
  10. Apart from a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops and a farm loan waiver, the protesting farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

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