February 23, 2024

The Delhi Police have taken every possible step to stop the march from entering Delhi.

New Delhi:
Protesting farmers from Punjab are bent on marching to Delhi today as the Union ministers’ five-plus-hour meeting with them remained inconclusive. There has been no resolution on the main demand of the farmers — the maximum support price for crops.

Here are 10 points on this big story:

  1. The farmers’ meeting with Union ministers in Chandigarh — a last-ditch effort of the government that got singed two years ago over farm law protests — continued almost till midnight. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda led the talks with the farmer leaders.

  2. Post 11 pm, the two sides came to an agreement on repealing the Electricity Act 2020, compensation to farmers killed in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, and the withdrawal of cases against farmers during the farmers’ movement.

  3. But there was no consensus on the three key demands — enactment of a law to guarantee a Minimum Support Price for all crops, farmer loan waiver and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations.

  4. After the meeting ended just before midnight, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee’s Sarwan Singh Pandher said the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march is on. “Two years ago, the government had promised to meet half of our demands in writing… We wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. But the government is not sincere. They just want to waste time,” a farmers’ representative told reporters.

  5. The Delhi Police have taken every possible step to stop the march from entering Delhi. There is heavy police presence at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders. The police have imposed a month-long ban on public meetings and tractors and trolleys entering the city.

  6. Prohibitory orders banning large gatherings have been declared in these areas. Much of the roads have been barricaded with concrete blocks and barbed wire. The movement of commercial vehicles has been stopped.

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

  8. Haryana has also invoked the 2021 law against public and private property damage that makes perpetrators pay. The state home department has directed the civil and police officers to stick to the rule.

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

  10. The Kisan Mazdoor Morcha which has the allegiance of more than 250 farmers’ unions, and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha — a platform of another 150 unions — called the protest in December. The protest, coordinated from Punjab, is meant to remind the government of the promises it made two years ago.

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