A complete ban on gatherings, processions and rallies, as well as the entry of tractor trucks, has been imposed in the national capital for a month until March 12. The Delhi Police has implemented these measures under section 144 of the CrPC, citing the anticipated widespread tension. and possible “social unrest” linked to the upcoming ‘Dilli Chalo’ farmers’ march scheduled for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, on Monday afternoon, a group of Union ministers began talks with farmer leaders in a bid to dissuade them from their march.
The directive, issued by Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora, prohibits all types of demonstrations, processions and obstruction of roads and passages from February 12. Farmers from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are expected to enter Delhi during their march in support. of various demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for all crops.
Meanwhile, an appeal has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against suspension of internet services in several districts of Haryana and closure of borders in view of the protest.
The protest call was made by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (apolitical) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) seeking MSP for all crops, punishment to the culprits of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, quashing of all FIRs lodged during the farmers’ agitation. and Pension of Rs 10,000 per month for farmers above 60 years of age, among other demands.
Here’s a summary of the main developments so far:
Heavy security and multi-level barricades at Delhi borders
Widespread deployment of police and paramilitary forces, along with implementation of multi-layered barricades, has been initiated to seal the borders of national capitals at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur. This strategic measure aims to prevent protesting farmers from entering the city during their planned march. Police are using drones to maintain strict surveillance at border points.
Union ministers begin talks with farmer leaders
Farmer leaders held a second round of talks in Chandigarh on Monday afternoon with Union ministers to press their demands, including enactment of a law ensuring minimum support price (MSP) for crops. They will proceed to Delhi based on the results of the talks.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader (apolitical) Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher, among others, were part of the meeting, the outcome of which is awaited.
The first such meeting with Union ministers was held on February 8.
1,200 police deployed at entry and exit points in Chandigarh; Sec 144 in parts of Punjab, Haryana
Before Tuesday’s march in Delhi, the Chandigarh administration has deployed 1,200 police officersset up barricades and blocked roads at all entry and exit points into the Union Territory.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed in Chandigarh on Sunday for 60 days. The Haryana government has also ordered suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts from February 11 to 13. Section 144 was also imposed in 15 of the 22 districts of Haryana. The Haryana police installed concrete blocks and metal sheets to seal both sides of the road at Shambhu barrier on the river Ghaggar in Ambala. The riverbed was also dug up to prevent farmers from reaching the road using tractors, officials said.
Rajasthan seals border with Punjab
After Haryana, Rajasthan on Saturday It also closed its borders with Punjab at Sadhuwali location in Sri Ganganagar district. Additionally, Section 144 was imposed in Sri Ganganagar, which borders Fazilka, Muktsar and Bathinda districts in Punjab. Many farmer unions from Rajasthan had already announced their participation in the march.
UP farmers to join hands with more than 500 tractor-trolleys
More than 500 tractors that will transport farmers and agricultural workers march from Uttar Pradesh on February 13 participate in the march, as announced by the BKU. Some other unions that are part of KMM will also participate.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal meets farmer leaders in Punjab
The first round of talks between farmers union leaders and Union ministers took place in Chandigarh on February 8.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann stated on Thursday that a consensus was reached on various demands of farmers during a meeting with Union ministers including Food and Civil Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal, Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda and State Minister Nityanand Rai.
However, BKU leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said their plan to advance towards Delhi on February 13 remained unchanged.
Dallewal stated that his main demand for MSP guarantee on all crops did not reach any consensus. goyal He mentioned that it was a matter of policy and that the decision would be made after going to Delhi. He also questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi report as Chief Minister of Gujarat, stating that MSP could be applied to all crops, could not be implemented now.
What do farmers demand?
1. Enactment of a law to ensure MSP (Minimum Support Price) for all crops, according to the Dr. Swaminathan Commission report.
2. Provide full debt forgiveness to farmers and workers.
3. Nationwide reintroduction of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, which ensures written consent of farmers and compensation four times the rate of collectors.
4. Punishment to those accused of the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre and justice to the affected farmers.
5. Withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and banning all free trade agreements.
6. Pension to farmers and day laborers.
7. Compensation to the families of farmers who died during the 2021 Delhi agitation and a job for one family member of each of the deceased.
8. Deletion of Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020.
9. 200 days of employment per year and a daily wage of Rs 700 under MGNREGA, linking it with agriculture.
10. Imposing strict penalties on companies that produce fake seeds, pesticides and fertilizers and improve the quality of seeds.
11. Formation of a national spice commission.
12. Guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples to water, forests and land, preventing companies from plundering tribal lands.
About SKM and KMM: Farmer unions at the forefront
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) claims to be a body of over 150 farmer unions across the country with Jagjit Singh Dallewal as coordinator. It is a branch of the SKM, a flagship body of over 500 farmer unions in India that protested against the farm laws.
The Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) is an umbrella body of more than 100 farmers’ unions from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc. Although it was formed only last week, most of the unions under its banner have already previously fought against the farm laws in coordination with the SKM.
The SKM is not part of the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest and has called for a ‘Grameen Bharat Bandh’ on February 16. It will observe the bandh in coordination with trade unions, industrial unions, bank employee unions, transport employees and the government. employee associations and various other associations. The demands are almost the same as those of two farmer union forums that have issued the so-called ‘Dilli Chalo’. Apart from the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops and pensions for farmers, the SKM is flagging issues affecting employees, including implementation of OPS, withdrawal of amendments to labor laws, among others.
They also demand a minimum wage of Rs 26,000 per month for workers, repeal of four labor codes, guarantee of employment as a fundamental right, non-privatisation of PSUs, non-contractualization of workforce and elimination of long-term employment. determined.
In 2020, a large number of farmers from Punjab and nearby areas of Ambala gathered at the Shambhu border and broke police barriers to march towards Delhi.
Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, held protests at the Delhi border points (Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur) for a year against the three now-repealed farm laws.