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‘Delhi Chalo’ Day 5: Muzaffarnagar Panchayat to Discuss Atrocities on Farmers, Next Talks Tomorrow | Points

  • February 17, 2024

Curated By: Poulami Kundu

Last Updated: February 17, 2024, 08:08 IST

Haryana Police used tear gas shells on protesting farmers. (PTI/File)

Haryana Police used tear gas shells on protesting farmers. (PTI/File)

Over 200 farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, are taking part in the march to press the Centre to accept their demands.

The protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, continued their agitation on Thursday as their ‘Delhi chalo’ march entered Day 5. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has said it will intensify the stir in the coming days after farmers’ groups, along with trade unions and others, observed ‘Grameen Bharat bandh’ on Friday.

A ‘mahapanchayat’ will be organised at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh to discuss the “atrocities” being committed on the protesting farmers in the country on Saturday. Meanwhile, mobile internet services will remain snapped in seven districts of Haryana, including Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa.

Farmers from Punjab on February 13 morning began their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to press for their demands, amid heavy barricading at Haryana-Punjab border and entry points into the National Capital. However, they were stopped by security personnel at Shambhu and Khanauri points on Punjab’s border with Haryana. The protesters have stayed put at the two border points since then.

Over 200 farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, are taking part in the march to press the Centre to accept their demands.

Besides a legal guarantee of MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

Farmers’ protest: Here’s a list of developments so far

  • Haryana Police on Friday fired tear gas shells to disperse protesting farmers when they moved towards the barricades at the Shambhu border near Ambala, a day after talks between Union ministers and farmer leaders remained inconclusive.
  • Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday said a ‘mahapanchayat’ will be organised on Saturday at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh to discuss the “atrocities” being committed on the protesting farmers in the country. Farmers and activists of BKU from UP, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Haryana have been exhorted to attend the congregation to be held at the ‘Kisan Bhawan’ in Sisauli.
  • Amid the impasse, the Union ministers and farmer leaders will meet on February 18 for the fourth round of talks. The two sides met on February 8, 12, and 15 as well but those talks remained inconclusive.
  • The Haryana Police on Friday released a series of video clips of several farmers purportedly pelting stones and attempting to provoke the security personnel at the Shambhu border.
  • Farmer leaders spearheading the ‘Delhi Chalo’ call claimed that the Haryana security personnel used “force” against protesters by hurling tear gas shells and firing rubber bullets at them, leaving many injured.
  • On the fourth day of the protest, a 63-year-old farmer, who was among the protesters at the Shambhu border, died of a heart attack on Friday. According to officials, Gian Singh, from Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, complained of chest pain in the morning and was taken to the Civil Hospital in Punjab’s Rajpura. From there, he was rushed to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala where doctors declared him dead.
  • Centre and farmers will meet again on Sunday to discuss a way forward at a time when talks are stuck primarily on three key demands – legal guarantee to MSP, using a comprehensive cost formula (C2+50%) to arrive at it & farm loan waiver.

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