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Agitating Farmers May End Dharna on Delhi Borders on Tuesday

Agitating Farmers May End Dharna on Delhi Borders on Tuesday

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Dec 4: An early end to the agitating farmers squatting on the borders of Delhi is in sight if the December 7 meeting between the government and the farmers’ representatives proved fruitfull.

Responding to the call made on the agitating leaders by the union home minister Amit Shah to end the current stir since the government has already adopted the bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws, a farmer leader said a final decision would depend on the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting. “If a compromise is found, then there is a possibility of farmers going back from borders,” a farmer leader said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah called farmers’ leaders last night to discuss the remaining issues following the success of their year-long campaign to repeal the three new agricultural laws, the farmers said on Saturday, announcing a five-member panel to hold talks with the government.

For now, the farmers will continue the protest over their demands like widening the Minimum Support Price or MSP programme that guarantees prices for certain crops and dropping cases filed against protesters over the last year.

“Amit Shah called last night. He said the laws have been rolled back and the government is serious about finding a solution to the ongoing stir. The Home Minister wanted a committee to communicate with the government, so we finally have made that committee now,” Yudhvir Singh, a leader of one of the farmers’ unions said.

“The result of the meeting between the government and the committee will be discussed on December 7th, and if a compromise is found, then there is a possibility of farmers going back from borders,” he said.

The decisions were taken at a meeting organised by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) – the umbrella body of farmers’ organisations – held at the Singhu border near Delhi on Saturday to decide on the future of the agitation and discussed vacating the protest sites. Farmer leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal, Ashok Dhawle, Shiv Kumar Kakka, Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Yudhvir Singh were named in the five-member panel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had passed a bill in parliament to repeal the three contentious farm laws on Monday, more than a year after thousands of farmers from several states launched a massive campaign against them and camped on borders of Delhi.

The farmers, however, have maintained that they will not call of the demonstration and work to hurt the BJP in key state elections early next year till other demands like the one on MSP, compensation to families of farmers who died during the movement and action against a Union Minister whose son has been accused of mowing down a group of protesters in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri are met.

The farmers have also demanded withdrawal of all the police cases launched against the agitating farmers and release from jail of those arrested in connection with the agitation. Official sources said while the Punjab government has agreed to withdraw the police cases against the agitating farmers, a stalemate on the issue continued in Haryana where the BJP government has refused to withdraw the cases or release the arrested farmers. It might now depend on the BJP government at the centre to consider the issue and a take nation-wide decision on withdrawing the cases and release those held and issue the necessary directives to the concerned state governments.

 

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