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Delhi, a fortress as farmers take to the streets

The Delhi Police took all possible measures to prevent the march from entering Delhi.

New Delhi:
Protesting farmers from Punjab are determined to march towards Delhi today as Union ministers’ over five-hour meeting with them was inconclusive. There was no resolution on the farmers’ main demand: maximum support price for crops.

Here are 10 points on this great story:

  1. The farmers’ meeting with Union ministers in Chandigarh – a last-ditch effort by the government that was called off two years ago following protests against the farm laws – continued almost till midnight. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda led the discussions with the farmer leaders.

  2. After 11 p.m., both sides reached an agreement on repealing the Electricity Act, 2020, compensation to farmers killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, and withdrawal of cases against farmers during the peasant movement.

  3. But there was no consensus on the three key demands: enactment of a law guaranteeing a minimum support price for all crops, waiver of loans to farmers and implementation of the Commission’s recommendations Swaminathan.

  4. After the meeting ended just before midnight, Sarwan Singh Pandher of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee said the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march was underway. “Two years ago, the government promised in writing to respond to half of our demands… We wanted to resolve the problem peacefully. But the government is not sincere. It just wants to waste time,” a farmers’ representative told the press.

  5. The Delhi Police took all possible measures to prevent the march from entering Delhi. There is a heavy police presence at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders. The police banned public meetings and the entry of tractors and carts into the city for a month.

  6. Prohibition orders prohibiting large gatherings have been issued in these areas. Most roads were barricaded with concrete blocks and barbed wire. The movement of commercial vehicles was interrupted.

  7. Haryana authorities have also fortified the state’s borders with Punjab at many places, including Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra and Sirsa. Concrete blocks, iron nails and barbed wire were used to barricade roads and prevent protesters from entering the state.

  8. Haryana also invoked the Anti-Damage to Public and Private Property Act, 2021 which makes perpetrators pay. The state Interior Ministry has asked civil and police officers to respect the rule.

  9. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had announced the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march. Farmers have taken a hard line, building on the precedent of government capitulation and withdrawal of farm laws after the year-long agitation in 2020-21.

  10. The Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, which enjoys the allegiance of over 250 farmer unions, and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha – a platform of 150 other unions – have called for protests in December. The protest, coordinated from Punjab, aims to remind the government of the promises it made two years ago.

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