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Farmers’ Protest HIGHLIGHTS: Amarinder urges farmers to accept Shah’s appeal

Thousands of farmers were allowed to enter the national capital on Friday evening after clashes with the police, who used tear gas, water cannons and lathis to block their march from Haryana.

By: Express Web Desk | Chandigarh, Gurgaon, New Delhi | Updated: November 29, 2020 1:14:24 pm
farmers protest 2020, delhi farmers protests Farm bill 2020, Punjab farmers protest, Farm laws 2020, Farmer's Protest, MSP, Nihangs, Singhu border, Indian ExpressFarmers shout slogans after burning an effigy during a protest against the newly passed farm bills at Singhu border near Delhi, on Saturday. (Reuters)

As farmers stayed put at Delhi’s Singhu and Tikri borders borders, Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday assured that the government is ready to hold talks with the protesting farmers and urged them to shift their protest site to the designated place at the Nirankari Samagam Ground in Delhi’s Burari. Farmers, who have refused to move to the site, have been demanding a nod for demonstrating at Jantar Mantar.

“If farmers’ unions want to hold discussions before December 3, I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift your protest to a structured place, the government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day,” Shah said.

Security remains heightened at the Delhi-Haryana border at Tikri as farmers, who are opposing the three central farm laws, stayed put at the Delhi border points for the third consecutive day today. Thousands of farmers were allowed to enter the national capital on Friday evening after clashes with the police, who used tear gas, water cannons and lathis to block their march from Haryana.

Angry at the obstacles placed in the way of farmers marching to Delhi, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), a grouping of 500 farm unions, shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday urging him to provide them safe passage to Ram Leela Ground in Delhi. Meanwhile, Navdeep Singh (26), who had grabbed headlines for climbing atop water cannon to turn it off during farmers stir in Ambala district on November 25, has been booked for attempt to murder. The police have accused them of attempting to run over policemen with a speeding tractor-trolley by breaking the police barricading.

Live Blog

Read highlights on 'Dilli Chalo' protest

02:35 (IST)29 Nov 2020
Khattar says Punjab didn’t respond to calls; Amarinder denies, seeks apology

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday accused political parties in Punjab of “sponsoring” the farmers’ movement that has led to scores of protesters descending upon border areas of the national capital over the last three days and added that his Punjab counterpart, Amarinder Singh, has not responded so far to efforts for a dialogue.

Reacting to Khattar’s remarks later in the day, Amarinder condemned the violence that broke out between police and protesting farmers in Haryana and demanded an apology from the Haryana CM.

Speaking to the media in Gurgaon after presiding over a meeting of the district grievance committee, Khattar said, “This movement is primarily being sponsored by political parties in Punjab and some organisations there. I have tried several times to talk to the Chief Minister of Punjab over the last 3 days regarding the movement, but he did not speak to me. We dialed 6-7 times, but each time his staff just kept saying we will get it done now, we will get it done in some time.”

23:13 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Agri laws: Farmers protest at Ghaziabad's UP Gate

A large number of farmers staged a protest against the Centre's farm laws at the Ghaziabad's UP Gate on Saturday. Led by Bharatiya Kisan Union's national president Rakesh Tikait, farmers said they will continue their stir till the Centre does not give a written assurance about the continuation of the minimum support price (MSP) system.

Tikait said farmers associated with the body will not go the Delhi's Burari ground, a place earmarked for protests by police. The protesting farmers will decide the future course of action on Sunday. Till the Union government does not give us as a written assurance about the MSP for crops, we will continue our stir, Tikait said.

"In case any buyer procures the agricultural produce below the MSP, he should be jailed and for this, the government must pass a law," he said, stressing that the agitating farmers will proceed to the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to stage a sit-in.

He also alleged that in the name of the coronavirus pandemic, the government wants to crush the movement. Where was coronavirus when the Bihar assembly elections were held, he asked.

22:25 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Amarinder urges farmers to accept Union home minister's appeal

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged farmers to accept Union Home Minister Amit Shah's appeal and shift to the designated place for their protest, thus paving the way for early talks to resolve their issues.

Amid reports of Amit Shah's offer to hold discussions with farmers at the earliest, Amarinder Singh said it is in the best interest of the farming community and the nation at large. Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday appealed to the farmers to shift to the Burari ground in the national capital to stage their protest and said the Centre is ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.

Shah's offer to advance talks with farmers from December 3 and his statement reflecting the Centre's willingness to listen to the farmers is a welcome step, said the CM in a statement here. He said the only solution to the current stalemate over the farm laws issue is discussion.

21:01 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Won't talk to Khattar until he apologises for 'inflicting brutality' on farmers: Amarinder

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said he will not speak to his Haryana counter Manohar Lal Khattar until he seeks an apology for "inflicting brutality" on farmers marching to Delhi.

The Punjab chief minister also junked the allegations that he did not speak to Khattar over the farmers' issue despite repeated attempts by the Haryana CM, according to a statement.

"Khattar is lying that he tried calling me earlier and I did not respond. But now, after what he has done to my farmers, I will not speak to him even if he calls me 10 times. Unless he apologises and admits that he did wrong with Punjab's farmers, I will not forgive him,"said Singh, seeking apology from the Haryana CM for "inflicting brutality" on farmers.

20:19 (IST)28 Nov 2020
'Shameful': Harsimrat Kaur slams Khattar for 'stifling democratic rights of farmers'

Former Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur tweeted in support of protesting farmers and slammed the Haryana government and Centre for "stifling the democratic rights of our farmers."

"First the ML Khattar government stifles democratic rights of our farmers to demonstrate peacefully. Uses water cannon, tear gas and also lathi charges them. Govt then rubs salt on their wounds by filing cases against them for reacting and removing blockades to move onward to Delhi. Shameful!" she said.

19:58 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Shift your protest to a structured place, govt will hold talks the next day: Amit Shah appeals to farmers

Home Minister Amit Shah has assured protesting farmers that the government is willing to hold discussion with them before December 3 if they shift their protest to the designated place approved by the Centre.

"If farmers' unions want to hold discussions before December 3, I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift your protest to structured place, the government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day," he said.

19:43 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Govt ready to hold talks, deliberate on issues raised by protesting farmers: Amit Shah

In an appeal to agitating farmers who are protesting against the three Central farm laws, Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the government is ready to hold talks to deliberate on "every problem and demand" being raised by the farmers.

"At many places, farmers are staying with their tractors and trollies on highways in this cold. I appeal to them that Delhi Police are ready to shift you to big ground, please go there. You will be given police permission to hold programmes there," he told news agency ANI.

19:32 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Oppn liken use of tear gas, water cannons on agitating farmers to 'waging war'

Alleging that the Central farm laws "threatened" India's food security, several opposition parties on Saturday likened attempts by the police to stop the farmers' march towards Delhi by using tear gas, water cannons and by digging up roads to "repression" and "waging a war".

In a joint statement, leaders of eight opposition parties extended their support to the farmers who are protesting the three farm laws. These leaders are NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK's T R Baalu, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI General Secretary D Raja, RJD MP Manoj Jha, CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, AIFB's Debabrata Biswas and RSP General Secretary Manoj Bhattacharya.

"Braving severe repression, tear gassing, heavy water cannons, roadblocks, police barricades and digging up the national highways surrounding Delhi akin to waging a 'war' on our farmers, tens of thousands of farmers have successfully reached the National Capital of Delhi.

18:24 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Political parties 'sponsoring' farmers' stir: Khattar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Khattar on Saturday alleged that some political parties and organisations are "sponsoring" the farmers' stir against the Centre's farm laws. He also hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, claiming that despite wanting to talk to him over the issue, he did not respond even when telephone calls to his office were made for three days.

Claiming a "conspiracy", Khattar told reporters in Gurgaon that officials in the Punjab Chief Minister's Office are "giving directions" to the protesting farmers from Punjab. The stir has been build up by farmers from Punjab and some political parties and organisations are "sponsoring" it, he said.

18:20 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Rahul Gandhi: Raising voice against injustice is not an offence, it is duty

Senior Congress leader expressed his solidarity with the farmers protesting against the three central farm laws. "Raising voice against injustice is a duty, not a crime. The Modi government cannot change the determination of the farmers with the police's fake FIR. This fight will continue till the black laws are repealed," he tweeted.

17:57 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Farmers arrive at Delhi-Ghaziabad border

Farmers have arrived at Ghaziabad-Delhi border in support of 'Delhi Chalo' protest march. "We want guarantee in Minimum Support Price (MSP). We're going to discuss with other farmer groups & then decide on further plans," ANI quoted a farmer as saying.

17:04 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Voices of dissent from Singhu border

Thousands of farmers protesting the Centre's new agriculture laws stayed put at the Singhu and Tikri border points for the third consecutive day amid heavy police presence even after being offered a north Delhi ground to hold peaceful demonstrations. Numbers swelled at the Singhu border point as farmers gathered there were joined by more counterparts from Punjab and Haryana and they refused to move towards the Sant Nirankari Ground, one of the biggest in the national capital.

15:51 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Rajasthan farmers take out procession in Jaipur in support of 'Delhi Chalo' protest

Rajasthan farmers take out procession in Jaipur in support of 'Delhi Chalo' protest. "I ask the govt for open debate & then we'll see if the result is in favour of farmers. We ask them to add another law that will guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP)," says a farmer.

15:50 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Singhu border still closed, take alternative route: Delhi Traffic Police

Delhi Traffic Police has said that Singhu border is still closed from both sides. "Please take an alternate route. Traffic diverted from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from the signature bridge to Rohini & vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 & Singhu border."

15:04 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Treating farmers with such dereliction has never been done by any party except BJP: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav says, "Treating farmers with such dereliction has never been done by any party except BJP. These are the same people who had told farmers that they'd not only waive loans but would bring in policies which would double farmers' income."

14:48 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Watch | Farmers cross Punjab-Haryana border at Sambhu

Punjab farmers moving towards the national capital as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' protest march, cross Punjab-Haryana border at Sambhu.

14:29 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Haryana CM blames political parties, 'organisations' in Punjab for 'sponsoring' farmers' movement

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday blamed political parties in Punjab and “some organisations there” for “sponsoring” the farmers’ movement that has led to scores of farmers descending upon border areas of the national capital over the last 3 days.Speaking to the media in Gurgaon after presiding over a meeting of the District Grievance Committee, Khattar said, “This movement is primarily being sponsored by political parties in Punjab and some organisations there. I have tried several times to talk to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, over the last 3 days regarding the movement, but he did not speak to me. We dialed 6-7 times but each time his staff just kept saying we will get it done now, we will get it done in some time.” -- reports Sakshi Dayal

14:02 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Punjab farmers refuse to enter Delhi, want govt to change protest site

Punjab farmers Saturday refused to stage a protest at Nirankari Park in Burari. BKU Ugrahan, the largest farmers' union in Punjab, said that they will sit on the outskirts of Delhi till the time permission for doing protest at Jantar Mantar is not given.

13:37 (IST)28 Nov 2020
'Delhi Chalo' march: Protesting farmers charged with attempt to murder, rioting in Haryana

Haryana Police has booked state Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni and several farmers on attempt to murder, rioting, causing obstruction in government duty and other charges for violations during their "Delhi Chalo" march, officials said on Saturday.

A cases was registered on November 26 under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing any public servant in discharge of public functions) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) among others at the Parao police station on a complaint from Head Constable Pardeep Kumar as hundreds of farmers assembled on the GT road near Ambala Cantt to proceed towards the national capital.

The FIR names Charuni and several other unknown farmers as accused. According to it, the BKU Haryana chief and others had gathered near Mohra village in Ambala. The FIR says Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Kumar, who was leading the police team at the spot, asked Charuni not to proceed further but he refused. It adds that Charuni and other farmers broke police barricades with their tractors. (PTI)

12:52 (IST)28 Nov 2020
Farmers' union heads meet to decide whether to take Nirankari Bhawan as a venue of protest

A meeting of farmers' union heads is going on in Delhi to decide whether to take Nirankari Bhawan as a venue of their protest rally or not.

Farmers' protest LIVE updates: Delhi police is using trucks filled with sand to stop farmers at the Singhu border.

Farmers' protest LIVE updates

The showdown between police and the protesting farmers, who showed up in hundreds of vehicles, tractors and trolleys, took place at the Singhu border on GT Karnal Road. By Friday afternoon, police stepped back, allowing farmers to head to the Nirankari Ground in Burari, less than a kilometre away. Many farmers, though, appeared reluctant to move, and were still at the border late evening.

With the Centre making no new effort to reach out to the farmers — Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, reiterating that farmer organisations had been called for another round of talks on December 3, urged protesters to return in view of Covid-19 and winter — Delhi Police sought permission from the Delhi government to use nine stadiums as makeshift detention centres.

The Delhi government, however, turned down the police request. A note signed by Home Minister Satyendar Jain stated: “Non-violent protest is every India’s Constitutional right. They can’t be jailed because of it.”

Protesting farmers are carrying drinking water in tankers (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Police deployment at Singhu border had been heavy since early morning, and barbed wires and huge slabs of concrete were placed in the middle of GT Karnal Road. More than 30 concrete barriers were placed on both sides of the highway, alongside steel barricades laced with barbed wires. Behind the barricades, hundreds of personnel of Delhi Police and Rapid Action Force waited anxiously.

On Thursday, as the farmers continued to break police barricades, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar entered into a war of words with his Punjab counterpart Capt Amarinder Singh. Both leaders posted a series of tweets against each other, with Amarinder asking Khattar not to use force on the farmers, and the Haryana CM accusing him of instigating the protesters. Non-BJP leaders in both Haryana and Punjab have extended their support to the agitating farmers. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said peaceful protest was their “constitutional right”, and criticised Haryana and the Centre for using force on them. As the farmers reach Delhi on Friday, the largest numbers are expected to try to enter the capital at the Kundli border.

Why are Punjab's farmers marching to Delhi despite state passing own farm Bills?

The three Bills passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha underscore that agriculture, agricultural markets, and land is the primary legislative domain of the state. Seeking to address one of the main grievances of the protesting farmers, the Bills, among other things, make minimum support price (MSP) a legal provision.

Farmers say they are happy with the state passing the three Bills, but point out that the proposed state legislations are at best a symbolic political statement against the Centre's farm laws and may remain entangled in legal complications. The Bills can become law only if they get Presidential assent, which they say, is highly unlikely.

farmer protest, punjab farmer protest, delhi chalo protest, farmers protest to delhi, delhi farmers protest, punjab farmer protest live news, farmers protest in delhi, farmers protest in punjab, farmer protest in haryana, farmer protest today, farmer protest latest news, farmers protest, farmers protest today, farm bill, farm bill news, farm bill latest news, farmers protest in haryana Farmers at Shambhu Barrier in Ambala. (Photo by A. Aggarwal)

“We are protesting because the central laws have legal value. The state's Bills do not have the same legal validity. We will not sit till the time the anti-farmer laws are not revoked or a Bill related to MSP is not passed by the Centre. Agriculture is a state subject and Centre could not create confusion by passing laws on subjects in state list,” says Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, Bharti Kisan Union (Dakuanda). He says that now the fight is not only for the farmers of Punjab but for the farmers of the entire country and that is why we are protesting “despite state passing its own Bills”.

Also Read:

Delhi: After facing police heat, farmers dig in for cold night

Editorial | Talk to the farmer

Opinion | Winds from Punjab

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