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Nine months of grievous farmers’ protest coaxes Centre into talking on farm bills

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Nine months of grievous farmers’ protest coaxes Centre into talking on farm bills

New Delhi: The suffering of nine long months at the borders of national capital for agitating farmers has finally persuaded the ruling government into another round of talks, making today’s protest at Jantar Mantar over the three farm laws- a success for tens of thousands farmers.

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Nearly 200 farmers travelled from the sit-in protest site at Singhu border in buses with a police escort to Jantar Mantar to hold protests from 11 am to 5 pm.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait appealed to authorities that roads near protest sites be opened for the ease of local residents. He assured that the farmers will not digress from the permitted route unlike the January 26 rally.

There is heavy police deployment and Delhi Police also issued an advisory for today’s protest. Since the violence that erupted on January 26 during the tractor rally, the authorities were skeptical to grant permission to farmer unions to hold a protest.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Centre is ready to talk to the protesting farmers. “We spoke to them in the past as well. The Narendra Modi-led government is a farmer-friendly government,” he said.

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The country has witnessed that these farm laws are beneficial are in favour of farmers… We have held 11th round of talks with the farmers’ union, now they have to decide what path they choose to take,” Narendra Singh Tomar told media.

On Wednesday, the Delhi government granted permission to the farmers to protest at Jantar Mantar saying strict observance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour would be mandatory during the protest.

Heavy security has also been deployed and traffic movement is closed on the following roads: 1. Chatta Rail to Subhash Marg (both carriageways closed); 2. Shanti Van to Subhash Marg; 3. Subhash Park to Shanti Van 1 lane is open for traffic.

The protest started on Monday and is scheduled to conclude on August 13 however, the farmers have received permission to protest till August 9.

Hundreds of farmers are encamped at Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders since November 2020 with a demand that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

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