Farmers’ protest: ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to restart amid tight security at borders of national capital

New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): As protesting farmers are set to resume their march once again to the capital city Delhi, to press for their demands including minimum price guarantees for their crops, the police has increased security at the Punjab and Haryana borders.

The Kisan Mazdoor Morcha and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political), the two umbrella bodies that are leading the farmers’ protests, on March 3 gave a call to farmers from across the country to reach the national capital today.

While the farmers from Punjab and Haryana will continue the agitation at Shambhu and Khanauri border points, the farmers and farm labourers from other states have been asked to reach Delhi today.

Their various demands to the central government include a legal guarantee on MSP for crops, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, and no hike in electricity tariffs.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher alleged that the central government was not taking the demand of farmers on Minimum support price seriously.

“They (the centre) should make it clear what they have a stand on MSP. Did they discuss this issue in their last meeting of the ministers’ council? If not, it means that the Centre does not intend to give us the guarantee of MSP,” he said.

Coming down heavily at the Centre, Pandher claimed it was responsible for the ‘economic loss’ in Punjab due to the closure of its border with Haryana in view of the protest.

“Government is responsible for economic loss in Punjab due to closures of its border with Haryana. We have to sell our vegetables and other things outside the state, but due to the closure of the borders, we are not able to do so. Will the Centre take responsibility? The Centre has deployed 70,000 Paramilitary forces in Haryana, I just want to ask, what the Centre fears about. What type of danger the Centre is feared with the people of Haryana?” he said.

Asserting that the protests launched by cultivators are growing day by day, the farmer leader said, “Today is the 23rd day of the protest launched by KMM and SKM (non-political). An announcement was made earlier that farmers from other states will start marching towards Delhi from today but farmers coming from far-off places will not be able to reach Delhi today. Farmers coming by road or train from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar or Southern India will not reach today, they will take a minimum of 2-3 days. Therefore, the situation would be clear by March 10. Farmers from nearby states have already decided not to move forward.”

He also accused the government of not paying attention to the demands of the farmers.

“The central government is busy with its elections preparations and not giving the attention towards the welfare of the farmers,” he said.

Notably, the farmers have also called for a four-hour countrywide “rail roko” next week in support of their various demands.

The protesting farmers have been staying put at the Shambhu and the Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana after their “Delhi Chalo” march was stopped by security personnel on February 13.

During the last round of talks, which ended past midnight on February 18, the panel of three Union ministers made an offer to buy five crops — moong dal, urad dal, tur dal, maize, and cotton — from farmers at MSP for five years through central agencies. However, the protesting farmers turned down the demand and returned to their protest sites. (ANI)


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