Freezing winter cut short Tamil Nadu farm protest, says leader
The ‘freezing’ temperature in Delhi has cut short the protest by Tamil Nadu farmers. The group, which joined the ongoing protests against the new farm laws at the Singhu border last month, returned in just two weeks as it could not cope with the cold weather, The Print reported.
Led by lawyer-farmer activist P Ayakannu, a first delegation of the National South Indian Rivers Inter-Linking Farmers Association joined the protest on 7 December and returned on 9 December. A second delegation, without Ayakannu, joined on 18 December and went back on 30 December.
British MPs urge Boris Johnson to discuss farmers’ protest with Modi
Around 100 Britain MPs, across party lines, have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take up the issue of the ongoing farmers’ protest in India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a letter, the MPs have asked Johnson to press for a “speedy resolution of the current deadlock and the democratic human right of citizens to peacefully protest”.
Tractor rally on Republic Day will cause embarrassment to India, Centre tells SC
The Centre sought an injunction against the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day from the Supreme Court. In an application filed through the Delhi Police, the Centre said that it has come to the knowledge of the security agencies that a small group of protesting individuals or organisations have planned to carry out a tractor march on Republic Day.
“It is submitted that the proposed march is slated to disturb and disrupt the august celebrations of nation on Republic Day and would be bound to create a massive law and order situation,” the application said. “It is submitted that the said proposed march/protest seeks to disrupt and disturb such celebrations which is bound to create a serious law and order situation and will cause an embarrassment to the nation,” it said.
It said that right to protest is always subject to the “countervailing public order and the public interest” and the right to protest can never include “maligning the nation globally”. “Any disruption or obstruction in the said functions would not only be against the law and order, public order, public interest but would also be a huge embarrassment for the nation,” it said while referring to the Republic Day ceremony.
No relief for commuters as Delhi borders remain affected
Multiple borders of Delhi with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh continued to remain closed for traffic movement.
For those coming to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh, Chilla and Ghazipur is closed. The traffic police advised them to take routes passing through Anand Vihar, DND, Loni DND and Apsara borders which have remained mostly unaffected.
The entry and exit points between Delhi and Haryana, passing through Singhu, Tikri, Auchandi, Piau Manyari, Saboli and Mangesh, have continued to remain closed. The traffic police have advised commuters to take alternate route via Lampur Safiabad, Palla and Singhu toll tax borders.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road. It has been suggested to avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road and NH-44.
The other border routes, such as the Delhi-Gurgaon and Delhi-Faridabad stretches, can be used for travelling between the two states.
Gurnam Singh Chaduni: The face of Haryana farmers’ stir
Hours after he was forced to cancel his appearance at a ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ in Haryana’s Karnal district, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar accused Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni of “instigating the violence”.
Under Chaduni, farmers had started protesting against the three farm laws as early as July, with as many as 15,000 farmers protesting under his leadership on 20 July atop tractors.
Chaduni has also led a sit-in protest inside the waters of the flooded Begna river in Ambala district for five days in August 2019 for the release of dues of sugarcane farmers and had climbed an 80-feet-tall water tank in July 2019 to demand purchase of the entire sunflower crop.
Villagers protesting against farmers’ stir return home
A day after blocking traffic on one carriageway of Jaipur-Delhi National Highway alleging that protesting farmers were creating unemployment and littering garbage in adjoining fields, local villagers returned home yesterday after Haryana police opened a slip lane on the highway.
On 10 January, locals near agitation site in Shajahanpur of Rajasthan’s Alwar had pitched tents on one carriageway of the highway against the farmers’ agitation. Sumer Singh, a protesting villager said their work and employment have been adversely affected due to the farmers’ blockade and demanded its immediate removal.
Mobile museum depicting Sikh history set up at Singhu border
A mobile museum depicting Sikh history has been brought to farmers’ protest site at Singhu Border from Mohali.
Museum founder Parvinder Singh, a resident of Mohali, told ANI, “There should be a museum that can educate our youth generation about history of Sikhism”.
Delhi: A mobile museum depicting Sikh history has been brought to farmers’ protest site at Singhu Border from Mohali.
Museum founder Parvinder Singh, a resident of Mohali, says, “There should be a museum that can educate our youth generation about history of Sikhism”. (11.01) pic.twitter.com/pRX8Kqjvgd
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2021
Don’t want to appear before SC-appointed committee: Farmers’ leaders
A joint front of 40 agitating farmer unions welcomed the suggestion of the Supreme Court for a stay on the agricultural laws’ implementation but said they are not willing to participate in any proceedings before a committee that may be appointed by it.
Pulling up the Centre for its handling of the farmers’ protest, the apex court on Monday said it is extremely disappointed with the way negotiations between them were going and will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse.
Farmers threaten to ‘gherao’ UP Raj Bhavan on 23 January
A section of farmers protesting against the three central farm laws has threatened to ‘gherao’ Uttar Pradesh Raj Bhavan on 23 January.
Bhartiya Kisan Union spokesperson Dharmendra Malik isaid the agitating farmers would also burn copies of farm legislation on that day. Malik said the BKU executive committee, in a meeting at Ghazipur-UP gate border, also decided to observe 18 January as Mahila Kisan Divas (Women Farmers’ Day) during which the womenfolk of villages would lead the ongoing protest against the government.
Delegation of 500 Kerala farmers enroute to Delhi
A delegation of 500 farmers from Kerala left for Delhi on Monday by bus to join their counterparts at the borders of Delhi, who have been protesting against the contentious farm laws since 26 November last year.
The farmers, belonging to ‘Kerala Karshaka Sangham’, the state chapter of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the organisations at the forefront of the protest. AIKS vice president S Ramachandra Pillai flagged off the bus, which is expected to reach Delhi on 14 January.
Farmers have been paid to protest: BJP MP S Muniswamy
BJP MP from Karnataka’s Kolar S Muniswamy alleged that farmers who are protesting at Delhi borders have been paid and brought to agitation sites. “They are middlemen and fake farmers. They are eating pizza, burger and KFC products, and have set up gym there. This drama should stop,” he told ANI.
BKU says repealing farm laws is the only way out
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) said repealing the laws was the only way out, shortly after the Supreme Court pulled up the Centre over the three new farm laws.
Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Jhanda Singh Jethuke, president and senior vice-president of the BKU, said their struggle would continue till the laws were repealed.
“The reprimand of the central government by the Supreme Court over not resolving this issue is certainly welcome and it is an achievement of the struggle. Further reprimand by it over not entering into consultations with the farmers during the presentation and passing of these laws is a confirmation of the dictatorial attitude of the central government, corroborates its indifferent attitude and establishes further that the peasant struggle is legitimate,” they told The Tribune.
SC to pronounce order on pleas relating to farm laws today
The Supreme Court will pronounce orders on Tuesday on various issues related to the new farm laws and the farmers’ ongoing protest at Delhi borders and may take a call on setting up of a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India (CJI) to find ways to resolve the impasse.
The Bench had on Monday indicated amply that it may go to the extent of staying the implementation of the contentious farm laws and refused to grant extra time to the Centre to explore the possibility of amicable solution saying it has already granted the government a “long rope”.
‘Extremely disappointed’ at negotiations between Centre, farmers: SC
The Supreme Court on Monday said it is “extremely disappointed” with the way negotiations are being held between the Centre and the farmers over the three farm laws, which have triggered protests by thousands of agriculturists at Delhi’s borders.
“What is going on? States are rebelling against your laws,” the bench told the Centre. “We are extremely disappointed at the way the government is handling the talks. What consultative process was followed by you before passing the laws? All are up in rebellion against the laws,” it added.
Farmers’ Protest LATEST Updates: A joint front of 40 agitating farmer unions welcomed the suggestion of the Supreme Court for a stay on the agricultural laws but said they are not willing to participate in any proceedings before a committee that may be appointed by it.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, rapping the Centre over its handling of the ongoing farmers protest at the borders of Delhi, said it is ‘extremely disappointed ‘ with the way negotiations are unfolding.
The apex court asked the government if it would suspend the implementation of the laws or whether the court should step in for the same. The court further stated that it will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are camping at three border points of Delhi —Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur— for more than a month now, demanding the repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) system for their crops.
The eighth round of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions on 7 January appeared headed nowhere as the Centre ruled out repealing the contentious laws, while the farmers’ leaders said they are ready to fight till death and their ‘ghar waapsi‘ will happen only after ‘law waapsi‘.
The apex court had earlier issued notice and sought the Centre’s response on a batch of pleas against the three contentious farm laws —the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
As per reports, farmers groups said they will not participate in the proceedings of a committee that the Supreme Court might appoint.
“We met our lawyers this evening at length and after deliberation on pros and cons of the suggestions of the committee, we informed them that we are unanimously not agreeable to go before any committee,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said, as per CNBC-TV18.
Talking to news agency PTI, farmer leaders had earlier said they welcomed the top court’s observations, but added that a stay on the implementation of the laws was not a solution as it would only be for a fixed amount of time. The leaders said that their agitation will continue till the laws are scrapped.
Meanwhile, INLD legislator Abhay Singh Chautala, writing to the Haryana Assembly Speaker, said if the Centre does not withdraw the three contentious farm laws by 26 January, then he would resign as an MLA from the House.
Extremely disappointed with negotiation process, says SC
While hearing a batch of petitions challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, justices V Ramasubramanian and AS Bopanna, expressed disappointment at the way the government is handling the protest.
“We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process. We don’t want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process,” PTI quotes the court as saying.
“We don’t know what consultative process you followed before the laws. Many states are up in rebellion,” LiveLaw quoted the bench as saying.
When Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that amendments had started during the previous regime, CJI Bobde said,” Mr Attorney, please understand it will not help you that some other government started it,” reported Bar and Bench.
The apex court said it is not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment. “This is a very delicate situation,” the bench said, adding, “There is not a single petition before us which says that these farm laws are beneficial.”
“We are not experts on economy; you tell us whether government is going to put on hold farm laws or we will do this,” the bench said.
Venugopal argued that a law cannot be stayed unless the court finds it violates fundamental rights or constitutional schemes. “Our intention is to see whether we can find an amicable solution to all this. That is why we had asked you (Centre) whether you are willing to keep these laws on hold for sometime. But you wanted to buy time,” the bench observed.
The apex court, which said the matter is getting worse and people are committing suicides, reiterated the need for having a committee comprising representatives from the government and farmer organisations from over the country and said it will stop the implementation of these laws if the panel advises doing so. It said that the protesting farmer can tell their objections to the committee.
The court asked the parties to suggest two or three names of former CJIs including former CJI RM Lodha who can head the court-appointed panel.
The bench said it did not know whether the protesting farmers were observing social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic but was concerned about them getting food and water. The bench also expressed apprehension that there might be some incident which may breach the peace.
“Old people and women are on the ground. Why are old people in the farmers’ protests? We don’t want to comment on the merit of the agitation,” the bench said.
It said after the implementation of these laws are stayed, the protesters can carry on with the agitation as the court doesn’t want “anyone to say that we stifled the protest.” We are not going to protect any lawbreakers. We want to prevent the loss of property and lives, it said.
When the attorney-general told the court that next meeting between the government and farmers is scheduled for 15 January and the court should not pass any order today, the bench said, “We do not think the Centre is handling the issue correctly. We have to take some action today. We don’t think you are being effective. If laws are put on hold then negotiations will have a chance to work out. “
The court refused to grant extra time to the Centre to explore the possibility of amicable solution to the issue, saying it has already granted the government a long rope. “We have given you long rope, Mr Attorney-General, please don’t lecture us on patience,” the bench said.
“Whether you have faith or not, we are the Supreme Court of India, we will do our job,” the bench told the protesting farmer unions.
The court, which indicated during the hearing that it may pass orders in parts, later said that the order will be pronounced on Tuesday.
‘Will continue agitation even if implementation stayed’
Farmers leaders said they would continue their agitation even if the government or the Supreme Court stays the implementation, reported PTI. The farmer leaders, who said they were “sharing their personal opinion”, were also of the view that a stay is “not a solution” as it is only for a fixed period of time.
The farmers want the laws to be repealed completely. The protest will continue even if the government or the Supreme Court stays their implementation,” Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union president Gurnam Singh Chaduni told the news agency.
Bhog Singh Mansa, president of Indian Farmers Union (Mansa), said “A stay is not a solution. We are here to get these laws scrapped completely… the government has in a way already agreed to scrap the laws when it said it is willing to incorporate as many amendments as farmers want.”
“We appeal to the Supreme Court to terminate these laws as these are not valid constitutionally,” Mansa said, adding the protest will continue till the “the laws are not repealed or the BJP government completes its tenure”.
Punjab Kisan Union president Ruldu Singh Mansa echoed similar sentiments, saying the agitation began with the demand for scrapping the farm laws and “it will end only when we win this fight”.
Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union, said the farmer leaders are consulting their lawyers and a formal response will be given after the court gave its verdict.
Centre files affidavit