Farmers Protests Updates | Punjab, Haryana Farmers Hit The Roads; Police Deployed At Delhi Borders
Farmers in Punjab and Haryana and many other parts of the country on Friday took to the streets in protest against the contentious farm Bills passed by Parliament recently.
Agitating farmers blocked roads, including highways, to press the Centre for the withdrawal of the legislations, which are yet to get the assent of the President.
Punjab farmers held the agitation as part of a bandh call against the Bills. The Punjab bandh call is getting support from government employees' unions, singers, commission agents, labourers and social activists.
Shops, commercial establishments and vegetable markets at many places remained shut. Shopkeepers have been appealed to keep their shops shut in support of farmers.
Farmers on Thursday had started a three-day rail rook stir against the Bills and squatted on tracks in parts of the state.
The three bills are:
- Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020,
- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020
- Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The Congress Party voiced its support for the Bharat Bandh, and alleged that the new agriculture laws will "enslave" farmers and the Minimum Support Price regime will be "snatched away" from them.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has beefed up security at the border areas in the wake of the protest.
Catch regular updates from the farmers protests here.
Farmers Protest At Noida-Delhi Border In Uttar Pradesh
Scores of farmers gathered on a key road in Noida in Uttar Pradesh in a protest demonstration on Friday, prompting deployment of police in riot gear that kept them from proceeding towards Delhi.
Around 150-200 farmers were at the Noida Gate in Sector 14A near Chilla, at the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border, where they were stopped by the Gautam Buddh Nagar police around 12 noon, officials said.
"Police personnel have been deployed at the Noida Gate to check the movement of protesters. The situation is under control. We are talking to the farmers and ensuring no law and order situation arises," Deputy Commissioner of Police, Noida, Rajesh S told PTI.
Farm Bills To Benefit Small, Marginal Farmers Most: PM Modi
Hitting out at the opposition for its attack on his government over the farm bills issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that those who always "lied" to farmers are now "shooting from their shoulders" and misleading them for their own political benefit.
Addressing BJP leaders and workers on the birth anniversary of party's ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay, Modi asked them to reach out to farmers on the ground and inform them about details and benefits of the new agriculture reforms and how these will empower them.
Our ground connect will finish off the propaganda being spread about the reforms, he said.
Modi said small and marginal farmers, who constitute 85% of the peasant community, will benefit the most from these reforms which, he added, give them an option to sell their produce outside agriculture 'mandis' for a better price.
Attacking the Congress, he said those who always lied to farmers are now "shooting from their shoulders" and misleading them.
"They are spreading rumours. Saving farmers from such rumours and explaining the importance of the agriculture reforms is the responsibility and duty of all BJP workers because we have to make the future of farmers bright," Modi said.
Congress Backs Bharat Bandh
Voicing support for the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer organisations to protest the farm bills, the Congress on Friday alleged that the new agriculture laws will "enslave" farmers and the MSP will be "snatched away" from them.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Randeep Surjewala spoke out against the farm bills and backed the Bharat Bandh.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi also hit out at the government, saying the three farm bills brought by it are reminiscent of the "East India Company rule". The MSP of the farmers will be "snatched away" and they will be forced to become slaves of billionaires through contract farming, Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
"Neither will they get the price nor respect. Farmers will become labourers in their own land," she alleged. "BJP's agriculture bills are a reminder of the East India Company rule. We will not allow this injustice to happen," she added, using the hashtag 'Bharat Bandh'.
Congress' chief spokesperson Surjewala said the party joins farmers in their struggle. "Farmers are protesting with Bharat Bandh. Their livelihood is being snatched away and the Modi government has attacked their farms," he said in a video message.
Security Beefed Up At Delhi Borders
The Delhi Police has intensified deployment of its personnel at the border areas in view of a nationwide protest call given by various farmer associations against the agriculture-related bills passed by the Parliament recently, officials said on Friday.
They said police personnel have been deployed in Chilla area near Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in the wake of the protest.
Police said adequate arrangements have been made to ensure the situation remains peaceful at the border areas. The situation is under control, according to the Delhi Police.
"Our personnel have been deployed in Delhi-Uttar Pradesh picket borders as a precautionary measure in the wake of a protest call given by farmers in neighbouring states," said a senior police officer.
Police deployed at Delhi-Haryana border have also been alerted, the officer said.
Farmers In Karnataka Protest "Anti-Farmer" Policies
Farmers in Karnataka staged demonstrations across the state on Friday as part of a 'bandh' call given to protest the 'anti-farmer' policies of the central and state governments.
A large number of farmers from various parts of the state flocked to the state capital to take part in the demonstrations to register their protest against the amendments to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act and the Karnataka Land Reforms Act.
The protesters called these amendments 'anti-farmer' and alleged that some people in power brought them to convert their black money into white.
A group of farmers blocked the busy Tumakuru road near Yashwantpur in the city. As the police reached the spot to clear the blockade, the farmers courted arrest and were taken away in buses.
Demonstrations were also held in other places, including Mysuru and Davangere. A large number of police personnel were deployed at many places to avert any chock-a-block.
Peasant leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, who is among those leading the agitation, said all the highways to Bengaluru will be blocked. He said more than 34 organisations have come together and they will stage agitations across the city.
Shanthakumar alleged that the government did not take the farmers into confidence while bringing amendments to the law pertaining to the agriculture sector.