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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Farmers’ Protest HIGHLIGHTS: India shocked by insult on tricolour, says PM Modi on R-Day violence

Farmers' Protest HIGHLIGHTS: As the number of protestors swell, the government has suspended internet services at the 3 protests sites and adjoining areas till January 31.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 3, 2021 12:59:33 pm
Farmers at the protest site at Singhu border in New Delhi on Saturday.

Farmers Protest HIGHLIGHTS: In his first remarks on the violence and vandalism at Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the nation was “saddened by insult to the tricolour.” Speaking during his monthly broadcast of Mann Ki Baat, he said,  “In Delhi, on January 26, the country was very pained seeing the dishonour to the Tricolour.”  Modi also highlighted that the government is committed to modernising agriculture and is taking many steps in this regard.

As more people head towards Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders to join the protesting farmers, the Union Home Ministry has temporarily suspended internet services at the three borders and their adjoining areas from 11 pm of January 29 to 11 pm of January 31 to ‘maintain public safety and averting public emergency’. Haryana government has also extended the suspension of internet services in 17 districts till 5 pm on January 31. The Delhi Police has also closed the NH-24 route to stop more people from joining the protest.

Hundreds of farmers from villages in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana showed up at the Ghazipur protest site on Saturday, on tractors and trucks loaded with rations and water bottles.

Following the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Police, the Delhi Police Saturday filed FIR against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath, and Vinod K Jose for reporting and tweets on the farmers’ protests and violence across Delhi on January 26. While Paresh Nath and Anant Nath are the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of The Caravan, Jose is the Executive Editor.

Meanwhile, a team of forensic experts visited the Red Fort to collect evidence in connection with the violence that broke out at the iconic monument on Republic Day. At least 5 of those identified in connection to the violence have criminal records in Punjab, The Indian Express has learnt. 

Live Blog

Farmers' protest HIGHLIGHTS: Internet banned at all 3 protest sites; farmers launch day-long fast to observe 'Sadbhavna Divas', marking Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary; 44 arrested for violence at Singhu; .

04:34 (IST)01 Feb 2021
SKM says over 100 missing since tractor rally, forms panel

Amid allegations that more than 100 people were missing since the violence during the tractor parade on Republic Day in Delhi, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions, on Sunday said it has set up a six-member committee to look into the matter.

“More than 100 persons are missing since January 26. We are compiling information on such persons so that we can take up the matter with the authorities,” said Morcha spokesperson Dr Darshan Pal. Read More

03:52 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Sukhbir meets Tikait, assures SAD support

SHIROMANI AKALI Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal Sunday met farm leader Rakesh Tikait at Ghazipur, and assured him the complete support of his party.

Badal presented him with a ‘siropa’ as well as ‘amrit’ from Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.

Badal said Tikait had made the farming community proud by following the footsteps of his father Mahendra Singh Tikait, a towering farmer leader, a party statement said. Read More

03:39 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Tomar counters Pawar on agri laws

The farm laws have not affected the current MSP system and mandis, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Sunday as he expressed dismay over former agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s tweets criticising the legislation.

In a series of tweets, Tomar said that Pawar had himself tried hard to bring the same agriculture reforms earlier. He then attached a point-by-point reply to Pawar’s charges. Read More

02:55 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Citing build-up post R-Day chaos, Haryana extends mobile internet ban in 14 districts

The Haryana government Sunday further extended the suspension of mobile internet services in 14 districts till 5 pm on February 1 “in wake of the situation which had built up following incidents of violence in the national capital on January 26”.

According to an official statement, the internet services will continue to remain suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat, Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Charkhi Dadri, Sonipat and Jhajjar. Read More

02:40 (IST)01 Feb 2021
Can begin MSP talks, but govt must create conducive climate: farmers

Days after the breakdown of their talks with the government, farmer leaders said on Sunday that while both sides are adamant on their positions on the repeal of the three laws, a discussion on the “MSP guarantee” could pave the way for the creation of a “conducive environment” that is a “must for talks.” Read More

21:54 (IST)31 Jan 2021
SAD chief Sukhbir Badal meets Rakesh Tikait at Ghazipur border

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday met farmer leader Rakesh Tikait at Ghazipur border and presented him with a 'siropa' (robe of honour), as he assured his party's support to the farmers movement. Badal said Tikait had made the farming community proud by following the footsteps of his father Mahendra Singh Tikait, a towering farmer leader, a party statement said. He reminisced about the joint battles of Mahendra Singh Tikait and SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal for the welfare of the peasantry, it said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief also met the families of farmers whose next of kin had been missing since January 26, besides those whose relatives have been incarcerated for "supporting" the farmers' protest, the statement said. (PTI)

21:39 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Police, admin apologised for yesterday's batoncharge: Naresh Tikait
20:44 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Despite increasing number of barricades thousands converge at Ghazipur

Despite an increasing number of barricades, thousands of farmers have been converging at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border following a tearful Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait's impassioned appeal to protesters to bolster the stir. The tide of the over two-month protest against the farm laws, which had lost its sheen after the violence in Delhi during the tractors parade on Republic day, appears to have regained momentum as is evident from the increased number of tents set up at the protest site.

Many protesters waited for hours to talk to Tikait or take a selfie with him as the farmer leader remained busy meeting his supporters and talking to the media. A Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) member said Tikait has been sleeping only for around three hours a day for the last three days. "He had complained of blood pressure issues, but is doing fine now," the member said. (PTI)

20:44 (IST)31 Jan 2021
R-Day violence: Delhi Police sends over 50 fresh notices to people including farmer leaders

The Delhi Police has sent over 50 fresh notices to people, including farmer leaders, in connection with the violence that broke out during the tractor parade on Republic Day, officials said on Sunday. The Delhi Police had earlier issued notices against 44 people. The police have identified several people and sent notices to them, a senior police officer said, adding that the process will continue further. 

According to the police, some tractors, used during the violence, have also been identified and notices are being sent their owners. The process of issuing notices is taking time as many people are not residents of Delhi and letters are being to their addresses, police said. 

Teams of Delhi Police are carrying out investigations at several locations outside the national capital, including Punjab and Haryana, to apprehend the people who were involved in the violence. They are also looking for those who hoisted flags at the Red Fort, they said.  Teams from the Forensic Science Laboratory also visited Ghazipur, Red Fort and ITO to collect evidences. They have recovered a lot of evidences, including a big rope with knots, that was used to climb on Red Fort, police said. (PTI)

20:34 (IST)31 Jan 2021
BJP leader Balwan Singh Daulatpuria quits party over farm laws

Haryana BJP leader and former MLA Balwan Singh Daulatpuria on Sunday quit the ruling party in solidarity with the farmers who are protesting against the Centre's new agriculture laws. Daulatpuria, who had joined the party ahead of 2019 assembly polls after switching over from INLD, announced his decision at a Panchayat held at his village Daulatpur here.

Talking to reporters later, he said the three agriculture laws "are anti-farmer which should be repealed immediately". "A Panchayat was held in my village. They directed that I should come out fully in support of the farmers who are protesting against these laws, after which I announced my decision to quit the party... I will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers and also visit the Tikri border protest site," Daulatpuria, a former MLA from Fatehabad, said.

18:45 (IST)31 Jan 2021
AAP asks Punjab CM to deploy state police for security of farmers protesting on Delhi borders

The Aam Aadmi Party Sunday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to deploy the state police for the security of farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three new Central laws. In a letter to Singh on Sunday, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the Punjab Police must provide protection to farmers so that no harm is done to them and they can continue to protest against the 'black farm laws' in a peaceful manner.

'The Aam Aadmi Party demands that you deploy Punjab Police in sufficient numbers to surround the camps where the peaceful protests are being held from all sides,' Chadha said.
   

'This protection to the farmers is absolutely essential in the light of recent attacks on them, engineered and executed by goons from BJP,' he said. Chadha also attacked the BJP over the issue, alleging the party proposes to continue its 'attitude of intimidating' any person who dares to raise a voice in opposition.

18:43 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Farmers' stir: Thousands converge for third 'mahapanchayat' in western UP

The ripples of farmers' protest against the new agri laws on Delhi's borders spread further in western Uttar Pradesh with thousands of people converging for a 'mahapanchayat' on Sunday in Baghpat, the third such congregation in the region in as many days. The 'sarv khap mahapanchayat'  took place at the Tehsil ground here with farmers pouring in from nearby districts as well in tractor-trollies, many of which are decked up with music systems, the tricolor and farmer unions' flags.

This is the third 'mahapanchayat' of farmers in the region after a massive congregation in Muzaffarnagar on Friday and in Mathura on Saturday, both resolving to support the ongoing BKU-led protest at the Ghazipur border against the three new farm laws. BKU leader Rajendra Chaudhary told the crowd, the movement has to be continued with full strength. (PTI)

17:57 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Haryana: Internet services suspended for one more day

Haryana government has extended the suspension of mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), SMS services (only bulk SMS) and all dongle services, etc. provided on mobile networks except the voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat, Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Charkhi Dadri, Sonipat and Jhajjar till 5 pm on February 1, 2021.

An official spokesperson said that this order has been issued to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in the jurisdiction of these districts of Haryana and shall be in force with immediate effect. Any person who will be found guilty of violation of aforesaid order will be liable for legal action under relevant provisions.

14:19 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Punjab CM calls all-party meet on Feb 2 to show unity over farmers' protest

Alleging that farmers from Punjab are being beaten up by police and assaulted by goons at their protest site on Delhi borders, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh called an all-party meeting on Tuesday to show unity and evolve a consensus on the way forward on the three contentious Central farm laws.
 The meeting will be held at 11 am at Punjab Bhawan, according to a government statement issued Sunday.'This is not the time to stand on ego but to come together to save our state and our people,' the chief minister told the parties.
As per the government statement, the meeting will discuss the situation arising out of the recent developments in the ongoing farmers' agitation in Delhi, especially in view of the Republic Day violence, 'the Singhu border attack on farmers, and the massive vilification campaign against them'.
 Singh urged all parties to join the meeting in a spirit of unity, in support of the farmers and in the interest of Punjab. The Chief Minister said the 'crisis' triggered by the farm laws was a matter of concern for the entire state and its people. 'Only through collective efforts of all Punjabis, and all the political parties of the state, can the crisis be tackled effectively and the farmers' interests be protected,' he said. (PTI)

13:18 (IST)31 Jan 2021
PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat: India ‘saddened by insult to tricolour’ on Republic Day

In his first remarks on the violence and vandalism on Republic Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the nation was “saddened by insult to the tricolour.”

“We have to infse times to come with new hope and novelty. Last year, we displayed exemplary partience and courage. This year too, we have to work hard to attain our resolves. We have to take our country forward at a faster pace,” PM Modi said in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address.

Breaking away from the designated route for the tractor rally, hundreds of protestors wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, felled barriers at the borders, clashed with police, and entered the city from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole on Republic Day. The farmers are demanding the repeal of the three farm laws. 

11:58 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Delhi Police Welfare Mahasangh stages protest against attack on cops during tractor rally violence

The Delhi Police Welfare Mahasangh staged a protest on Saturday against the attack on police personal during the tractor rally violence in the national capital on Republic Day. The protesters demanded strict action against those who attacked police personnel during the tractor rally organised by farmers to highlight their demand for repeal of the Centre's three farm laws.

"My husband, son and daughter are in police. If the police resorted to any action, then they would have faced suspension or enquiry. We also come from a farmer's family. We want strict action against those who attacked police," Geeta Saroha said. Who is responsible for the security of police personnel, she asked. The protesters were carrying placards and raised slogans against the unruly mob. Madhu Mudgal, whose husband suffered a minor injury near his eye, condemned the violence. (PTI)

10:24 (IST)31 Jan 2021
After decades, Tikaits of west UP take centre stage in capital again

Between 1987 and 2001, a series of political misadventures triggered a steady decline in the aura of the country’s most charismatic farm leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, and with it Sisauli, a bustling Muzaffarnagar village nestled amidst sugarcane fields which went from being called “Kisano ki Rajdhani” (farmers’ capital) to “Jaton ki Rajdhani” (capital of the Jats) to “Baliyano ki Rajdhani” — capital of the Baliyan khap headed by Tikait.

And then he would get a second wind. In 2001, Tikait, on whose call lakhs occupied the Boat Club lawns in the national capital in 1988, was struggling to muster numbers for a protest at the Muzaffarnagar town hall. Thinking that the modest gathering was being a nuisance, an overzealous sub-divisional magistrate ordered lathi-charge, and in the ensuing chaos the sexagenarian farm leader fell with an injury to his forehead. Images of a wounded Tikait in the papers the next day led to an outpour of support the farmer leader hadn’t seen in years. (Read Daksh Panwar's piece here)

09:53 (IST)31 Jan 2021
‘Can’t rely on police anymore,’ says farmers

In the aftermath of violence at Singhu border, farmers have stepped up “internal security” — from increased vigils to checkpoints — to prevent any untoward incident and ensure “political agents” do not get a chance to incite violence again.

A group of 200 men had got past three layers of security barricades on Friday, claimed that the farmers’ agitation had affected their livelihood, and damaged tents and shelters while clashing with farm protesters. Farmers alleged that the crowd had gathered at the behest of the BJP.

Said Rupinder Singh, president, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, “We have created a security room near the main stage, 10 people are present there at all times. We are also monitoring the situation on the ground through volunteers. Fewer people are being allowed near the stage after increased checks. Youth wings of unions have been told to guard their trolleys and remain on standby in case there is a situation to control. We will not let BJP and RSS break our protest since it was them who sent people to attack us.” (Read more here)

08:45 (IST)31 Jan 2021
PM at all-party meet: Offer to pause farm laws still on table, Agri Minister just phone call away

With the Budget session of Parliament getting under way, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday chaired an all-party meeting where he said the Government’s offer to keep the implementation of the three farm laws on hold for 18 months is still on the table. And that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is just a phone call away for taking forward talks with protesting farmer unions.

This assurance came after almost the entire Opposition, which had boycotted the President’s address yesterday, raised the farm protests issue. Many, including the Congress, demanded the repeal of the laws and a discussion in Parliament.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad flagged FIRs being filed against farm union leaders in connection with the Republic Day violence in Delhi.Leaders like CPM’s Elamaram Kareem, too, raised the FIR issue. To which the Prime Minister reportedly said: “The law will take its own course.”

05:39 (IST)31 Jan 2021
Internet suspended at Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur: Disconnected

The Union Home Ministry’s decision to suspend internet at the three main protest sites at the capital’s borders — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — has created several hurdles for protesting farmers, already suffering from a patchy network over the past few days. From connecting to their families, staying updated on the news or sharing videos and photos on social media about the protest, many aspects of their day-to-day life have been hit, they say.

Farmers protest, Republic Day, agriculture bill, Farm law, democracy, dissent, Indian democracy, Indian express editorial, Indian express news The leaders of the farmers protest will be targeted with all the national security arsenal that the state has used in previous protests, from Bhima Koregaon to the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Violence erupted at Singhu border on Friday after a group of some 200 got past three layers of security barricades, claiming the farmers' agitation had affected their livelihoods. With both sides throwing stones at each other, the Delhi Police later said that 44 people, including a 22-year-old man who allegedly attacked a sub-inspector with a sword, were arrested. Sources told The Indian Express all those arrested were farm protesters.

Addressing the violent clashes that broke out between farmers and the Delhi Police at Red Fort on Republic day, President Ramnath Kovind said, “My government has always respected freedom of expression and holding of peaceful agitations in a democratic set-up. However, the recent acts of dishonouring the National Flag and showing disrespect to the auspicious occasion of the Republic Day are unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, stating that he had been been warning for a long time that Pakistan will try to exploit the unrest over the farm laws to disturb Punjab’s peace, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Friday said central agencies should investigate into possible role of the neighbouring country in the recent disturbances and violence during the farmers’ agitation in Delhi.

“What is happening and what happened at Singhu today is what Pakistan wants,” said Amarinder.

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