Farmers to mark ‘Vijay Diwas’ today at protest sites before leaving for home
Formally marking their victory in the movement against the contentious farm laws, protesting farmers at the borders of Delhi are set to return to their homes on Saturday after celebrating the day as ‘Vijay Diwas’.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmers' unions spearheading the protests so far, said farmers would take out victory marches on Saturday at all border points, toll plazas, and protest sites across the country, following which they will finally head home marking the conclusion of their year-long protests.
According to reports, the farmers intended to celebrate the said Vijay Diwas on December 10 but postponed it to a day later out of respect for India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, who lost his life in an air accident this week and was cremated on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Singhu and Ghazipur border points of the national capital—two of the sites where the farmers had been protesting for the past 14 months—have picked up activity, as farmers get busy completing their preparations to leave for their homes in trucks and tractor trolleys. The UP Gate protest site, on the other hand, will be completely cleared by December 15, according to farmers.
To avoid chaos, the farmers have decided to not leave all at once on Saturday morning and some of them will stay back and wait for more vehicles to arrive. “The larger tents will take a day or two to dismantle and we will need at least two trucks to take our belongings back,” a farmer from Punjab's Amritsar told Hindustan Times, adding that a few others from his village have already left for Delhi with tractors and trolleys.
“The extra day was for us to pack our belongings, dismantle tents and prepare. The end goal is to reach Golden Temple on December 13,” a farmer leader said.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh, were protesting at various Delhi borders from late November 2020, seeking repeal of the three farm laws.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 19 that his government would repeal the contentious laws, and subsequently, Parliament passed a bill on November 29 to repeal them.
The SKM, a conglomeration of over 40 farmers' unions and the face of the protest, called off the movement across the country on Thursday, following a final letter from the central government accepting all the remaining demands of the peasants.
The letter, signed by Union agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal, promised to take back all pending cases against agitating farmers, include SKM leaders in the panel to deal with minimum support prices (MSP) for produce, and consult the union before introducing an energy regulation bill in Parliament.