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Friday, May 27, 2022

Farmers’ Protest Highlights: Farmers to observe Jan 30 as ‘Sadbhavna Diwas’, call for fast

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait announced emotionally that "we will commit suicide but won't end the protest until the farm Bills are repealed".

By: Express Web Desk | Chandigarh, New Delhi |
Updated: January 30, 2021 9:41:41 am
Violence erupts first time in Singhu: cops watching, ‘locals’ target farmersPolice pin down a farmer, who allegedly attacked Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal, during clashes between people claiming to be local villagers and farmers at the Singhu Border in New Delhi, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Farmer unions protesting at different border near Delhi have called for a fast on January 30, saying they would celebrate the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as ‘Sadbhavna Diwas’. “We appeal to everyone in the country to join us in observing fast on January 30,” PTI quoted a Kisan Ekta Morcha leader as saying.

A group of men claiming to be local residents Friday clashed with the farmers, who are sitting at the Singhu border protesting against the three farm laws, and tried to enter the protest site. The police had to intervene and lobbed tear gas to disperse the clashing units. Several policemen, including Delhi Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal, and protesters have been injured in the clashes.

This comes after locals staged a protest against farmers on Thursday demanding their removal from Singhu border, complaining that the two-month-long agitation has made their daily commute difficult. Hundreds of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members stayed put on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Friday as the crowd swelled there overnight, notwithstanding the Ghaziabad administration’s ultimatum to vacate the UP Gate protest site.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Friday said the farmers’ protests will spread to big cities if the government acts rigid and does not repeal the three contentious farm laws. “Most farmers, except the ones in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, haven’t understood the (farm) Bill completely. The government should know that these protests will not stop here. This agitation will spread from here to the big cities because it is not only the farmers who have been robbed of their livelihood. It is going to create instability which is not good for the country,” he said at a press conference.

Meanwhile, leaders of 18 Opposition parties boycotted the President’s customary address to a joint sitting of Parliament ahead of the Budget session in solidarity with farmer unions who have been protesting the three recently-enacted farm laws at Delhi’s borders. Responding to their joint statement, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi made an appeal to leaders to attend, saying “the government is ready to discuss all issues threadbare”.

Live Blog

Farmers' protest Live News Updates: Support grows for Tikait; crowd swells at UP Gate; Opposition leaders boycott President's address ahead of Budget session; Ghazipur administration orders protesting farmers to vacate; youth who died in Republic Day violence suffered severe head injuries; and more. Follow latest news and updates below

21:41 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Farmers' movement can't be suppressed by repression: Aam Aadmi Party

Reacting to the Centre's efforts to stop the supply of electricity and water at the farmers' agitation sites and by the police to end the movement, senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday said that by stopping the electricity and water of the agitating farmers, (Narendra) Modi government was trying to crush the farmers' movement, but the farmers were not going to kneel before the government's repression.

"Now the movement will move forward strongly and will uproot the Modi government from power," he said, addressing a press conference here.

Cheema said that the BJP was sending its 'goons' to protest against the farmers and was trying to intimidate them. He said that on Thursday, the entire nation saw how the BJP tried to force the farmers sitting on the dharna at the Ghazipur border to vacate and tried to spread panic among them. More details here.

21:30 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Rahul Gandhi called for anarchic elements to spread fire in country: BJP

In the backdrop of farmers protest playing out at Delhi’s borders, BJP MP Smriti Irani Friday accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of supporting anarchic elements to disturb the law and order in the country and “daring to insult tricolour”.

In retort to Gandhi’s remarks criticising the Centre’s controversial farm laws and raising concerns about their consequences, Irani said in a presser: “Instead of calling for peace, he called for anarchic elements to spread fire in country.”

She claimed that the Congress MP “not only wants law-order breakdown but also supports anarchic elements daring to insult tricolour, break nation”. “Rahul Gandhi declared war on Indian people; said cities will burn if PM does not support his stand,” she alleged. More details here.

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21:10 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Farmers to observe Jan 30 as 'Sadbhavna Diwas'

Farmer unions protesting at different border near Delhi have called for a fast on January 30, saying they would celebrate the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as 'Sadbhavna Diwas'. "We appeal to everyone in the country to join us in observing fast on January 30," PTI quoted a Kisan Ekta Morcha leader as saying.

"Don't need lecture on respecting tricolour from BJP. Majority of farmers have children fighting at borders," PTI quoted farmer leader Yudhvir Singh as saying.

Farmer leader Darshan Pal said, "I appeal to govt to restore internet services at all agitation sites, else we will protest  this as well."

20:58 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Rakesh Tikait true patriot: JJP leader Digvijay Chautala

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader Digvijay Singh Chautala on Friday called farmer leader Rakesh Tikait a “true patriot” and said he has always talked about farmers’ interests.

The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Tikait and others in connection with the violence in the national capital during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day.

“He is the son of country’s great farmers’ leader Mahender Singh Tikait. It is wrong to call him anti-national,” Digvijay told reporters.

“He has always talked about farmers’ interests. If the government has to take action, it should catch people like (Gurnam Singh) Chaduni, who instigated people. But Rakesh Tikait and farmers are true patriots,” he said referring to Tikiat being booked by the police. (PTI)

20:39 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Red Fort violence: Delhi Police asks nine farmer leaders to join investigation

The Delhi Police on Friday asked nine farmer leaders to join the investigation in connection with the violence at Red Fort on January 26, officials said. 

According to officials, the special investigation team (SIT) of Delhi Police has asked farmer leaders Rakesh Tikait, Pawan Kumar, Raj Kishore Singh, Tajender Singh Virk, Jitender Singh, Trilochan Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Harpreet Singh and Jagtar Singh Bajwa to join the investigation. 

The notices have been forwarded through WhatsApp to them. A police team has also physically visited the tents where they were staying and pasted it there, officials said. 

A senior police officer said, "We kept waiting for them and contacted their coordinators but we did not receive any response." (PTI)

20:22 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Delhi: 9 farmers arrested for attacking cop in Burari

The Delhi Police has arrested nine farmers for attacking one of its personnel at the Burari protest site, officials said on Friday.

Several farmers have been camping at DDA ground in Burari on the outskirts of the national capital since November-end against the Centre's three agri laws.

At around 7.30 pm on Thursday, some protesters came out and tried to move towards Red Fort, however, they were stopped by assistant sub-inspector Harbans Lal deployed at the main entry gate. The farmers then assaulted the policeman and tore his uniform, a senior police officer said.

A case was registered under relevant sections of the IPC at the Mukherjee Nagar Police Station against nine people, police said. (PTI)

20:10 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Capt Amarinder Singh: Government should continue its contact with farmers

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh: "I do think that the movement has been discredited. The whole world was supporting the farmers. But the moment the violence came, and the symbol of the Red Fort was violated, was when the movement lost steam."

"I think that the government should continue its contact with the farmers and the farmers must go to the meetings. This must be resolved. It cannot continue like this."

"Why was the police needed in the first place? They've had twelve meetings. Had I been chairing the meeting, I would have finished it on the first day. What is the reason for it being prolonged for so much time."


20:04 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Give up adamant attitude, repeal farm laws: Harish Rawat to Centre

Congress general secretary and Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat on Friday said the only way to end the ongoing farmers' agitation is to repeal the three agri laws.

The government must give up it's adamant attitude and repeal these laws, which is the only solution to this ongoing agitation," Rawat, who is former Uttarakhand Chief Minister, said.

Rawat said farmer leaders have condemned the violence that broke out in Delhi on Republic Day but what has happened after that is for everyone to see. 

"An attempt is being made to put the entire blame on the farmers... We also saw the reaction of senior farmer leader Rakesh Tikait when Uttar Pradesh authorities had planned to evict farmers from Ghazipur border protest site," he said.

"I believe if the government is thinking that this agitation will get weakened or that they can use various methods to crush it, then they are mistaken," Rawat told PTI. (PTI)

19:53 (IST)29 Jan 2021
No Indian can be proud of this: Capt Amarinder Singh on flag hoisting on Red Fort

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh: This is something of which no Indian can be proud. The Red Fort is a symbol of our Independence and democracy. It was a sad day when I saw that (violence) happen. (ANI)

19:32 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Rahul Gandhi declared war on Indian people: Smriti Irani

Union minister Smriti Irani Friday called out Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for instigating "anarchic elements" to spread fire in country. 

"Rahul Gandhi not only wants law-order breakdown but also supports anarchic elements daring to insult tricolour, break nation," PTI quoted Irani as saying. 

"Instead of calling for peace, he called for anarchic elements to spread fire in country," she said, adding that Gandhi declared war on Indian people by saying cities will burn if PM does not support his stand.

"Shocking but expected of Rahul Gandhi that over 300 injured cops didn't receive a word of consolation from him," she said.

19:24 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Chandigarh residents take out rally in support of farmers

Residents standing along roadside in support of farmers' protest against three farm laws near Matka Chowk in Chandigarh.

18:46 (IST)29 Jan 2021
UP: Yuva Chetna Manch lends support to BKU's protest against farm laws

Yuva Chetna Manch, a social organisation active in the eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh, has extended its support to Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) protesting against the new farm laws at Delhi's borders and staged a dharna at the district headquarters here on Friday.

The organisation's activists staged a sit-in in front of a Mahatma Gandhi statue at Shaheed Park in Chowk area and extended their support to BKU leader Rakesh Tikait.

Speaking on the occasion, the outfit's convener Rohit Kumar Singh hit out at the Central government alleging that it was committing atrocities on the farmers in Delhi.

Condemning the incident that took place at the Red Fort on Republic Day, Singh held the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) responsible for it alleging that they were behind the violence. (PTI)

18:13 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Threatening, intimidating farmers grave sin: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Speaking on the police crackdown on farmers protesting at different borders of Delhi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted, "The trust of the farmer is the capital of the country. Breaking their trust is a crime. It is a sin to not listen to their voice. Threatening them is a great sin. Attack on the farmer is an attack on the country. Prime Minister, do not weaken the country."

18:06 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Hazare to launch indefinite fast against farm laws from tomorrow

Activist Anna Hazare has announced that he would be launching an indefinite hunger strike against the Union government's new farm laws on Saturday at his village Ralegaon Siddhi in Maharashtra.

"I have been demanding reforms in the agriculture sector, but the Centre doesn't seem to be taking right decisions," he said in a statement issued on Thursday.

"The Centre has no sensitivity left for farmers, which is why I am starting my indefinite fast at my village from January 30," he said. (PTI)

17:40 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Tamil Nadu: Agitation not solution, says farmers organisation

A farmers outfit on Friday said large-scale agitation as is being witnessed in the national capital and states seeking repeal of three farm laws introduced by the Centre is not a solution.

Instead, the farmers should form an organisation and decide themselves on the price of their produce, said Vellangiri Uzhavan, a Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO).

The farmers can form FPOs and fix prices so that they need not depend on middlemen, mandis, traders or the government to market their produce, president of Vellangiri Uzhavan Kumar told reporters here. (PTI)

17:37 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Mahapanchayat over, Naresh Tikait asks farmers to 'wait' and leave for Delhi in small groups

Mahapanchayat over. Farmers going back. Farmer leader Naresh Tikait asks them to "wait" and "leave for Delhi in small groups". 

17:29 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Yogendra Yadav: Farmers will not go back from this movement, humiliated and defamed

Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj Party: "Modi ji and Yogi ji and all others must listen carefully, farmers will not go back from this movement, humiliated and defamed." (ANI)

16:56 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Haryana suspends internet services in Ambala, other areas

Haryana suspends internet services in Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat, Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Charkhi dadri, Fatehabad, Rewari, Sirsa till January 30 (1700 hrs). The services are already suspended in Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal districts.

16:55 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Repeal farm laws or this agitation will spread to big cities: Rahul Gandhi to government

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi: 'Farmers haven't understood the (farm) Bill completely. In Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan they have understood. The government should know that these protests will not stop here. This agitation will spread from here to the big cities because it is not only the farmers who have been robbed of their livelihood. It is going to create instability which is not good for the country.

"Therefore I urge the government to take back the laws."

16:52 (IST)29 Jan 2021
Biggest transfer of wealth poor to rich: Rahul Gandhi on farm laws

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on farm laws: "This is the biggest transfer of wealth from the largest number of people to a select group of people. During the Covid the poor got poorer and a handful of people got richer and richer. This anger that you are seeing among the farmers is due to that."

"The PM is working for these handfuls of people. He brought demonetisation, GST, and the new farm laws for them. But he should know that the farmers will not back out. We are with them."

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Delhi's border points at Tikri and Singhu remained under heavy police deployment on Friday in the aftermath of the Republic Day violence.

It was a tense night at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Ghazipur after the local administration issued orders to protesting farmers to immediately vacate the premises. The farmers, however, refused to give in. Tikait announced emotionally that "we will commit suicide but won't end the protest until the farm Bills are repealed". The order had a ripple effect in Punjab and Haryana, where a campaign began to send more protesters and tractors to the dharna sites as back up.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited two hospitals in the national capital on Thursday where the police personnel who were injured in the Republic Day violence are being treated. "We are proud of their courage and bravery," he said. As many as 394 personnel were injured in the violence at Delhi's ITO, Red Fort and other areas.

In other news, the Noida Police has registered an FIR against eight people, including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, and journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pandey and Zafar Agha, for spreading violence on Republic Day through social media posts.

Meanwhile, sources told The Indian Express the central government wants to resume talks with farmer unions only after its offers are accepted. "They lost a good opportunity... They have (now) lost the moral authority. Now, we have to see whether they accept that offer or they come with a counter proposal," a source said.

On Wednesday, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation of farmer unions, called off the march to Parliament House on February 1. However, it said the farmers' agitation would continue and there would be public meetings and hunger strikes across the country on January 30. Two organisations also withdrew from the protests at Delhi's borders in light of the violence.

After two months of peaceful protests at Delhi's borders and 11 rounds of negotiations with the central government, the Republic Day tractor parade spiraled into chaos Tuesday. One protester died when his tractor overturned while ramming a road barrier at ITO, and scores were injured, as mobs resorted to violence and vandalism while forcing their way to the Red Fort and hoisting their flag there.

The Delhi Police has registered 25 FIRs after the violence, and booked 37 of the farm leaders who were involved in the talks.

The six SKM spokespersons who have been named are: Jagjit Singh Dallewal, president, BKU (Sidhupur); Balbir Singh Rajewal, president, BKU (Rajewal); Darshan Pal, president, Krantikari Kisan Union; Rakesh Tikait, president, BKU; Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha; Yogendra Yadav, president, Swaraj Party India. Barring Yogendra Yadav, all the others took part in the talks with the government.

The others who were also among the farm union representatives involved in talks with the Centre and have been named in the FIR are: Boota Singh Burjgill, president, BKU Dakaunda; Nirbhai Singh Dhudike, president, Kirti Kisan Union; Ruldu Singh Mansa, president, Punjab Kisan Union; Inderjit Singh, president, Kisan Sangharsh Committee; Harjinder Singh Tanda, president, Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee, Punjab; Gurbaksh Singh, president, Jai Kisan Andolan; Satnam Singh Pannu, president, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee; Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, president, Kisan Sanghrash Committee; Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, BKU-Ugrahan; Surjit Singh Phool, president, BKU Krantikari; Harmeet Singh Kadian, president, BKU Kadian; Satnam Singh Sahni, general secretary, BKU (Doaba); Bogh Singh Mansa, president, BKU (Mansa); Balwinder Singh Aulakh, president, Majha Kisan Committee; Satnam Singh Behru, president, Indian Farmers Association; Bharat Boota Singh Shadipur, president, Bharti Kisan Manch; Baldev Singh Sirsa, president, Lok Bhalai Insaaf Welfare Society; Jagbir Singh Tanda, president, Doaba Kisan Samiti; Mukesh Chandra, Doaba Kisan Sangharsh Committee; Sukhpal Singh Daffar, president, Ganna Sangharsh Committee; Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary, BKU Lakhowal; Kirpal Singh Nathuwala, president, Kisan Bachao Morcha; Prem Singh Bhangu, president, All India Kisan Federation, Punjab unit; Gurnam Singh Chaduni, president, BKU Haryana; Kavita Kuruganti, Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch; Rishipal Ambavatta, president, BKU Ambavatta; Prem Singh Gehlot, president, All India Kisan Mahasabha, Haryana Unit.

One of the FIRs, on the Red Fort incident, names Punjabi film actor Deep Sidhu and Lakhbir Singh Sidhana alias Lakha Sidhana, gangster-turned-politician and president of the Malwa Youth Federation.

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