Thursday, February 22, 2024

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HomeNewsTeam of 3 Union ministers to meet Punjab farmer leaders

Team of 3 Union ministers to meet Punjab farmer leaders

NEW DELHI: A central team consisting of three

Union ministers

, including Piyush Goyal and Arjun Munda, is scheduled to engage in

discussions

with farmer leaders in Chandigarh regarding their

demands

, announced Sarwan Singh Pandher, the leader of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, on Thursday.
The meeting was arranged in coordination with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, as confirmed by Pandher, who serves as the general secretary of the farmers’ organization. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had jointly declared the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, which is set to witness participation from over 200 farmers’ unions on February 13. The primary objective of the march is to press the Centre for the acceptance of various demands, including the enactment of a law ensuring the minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
Jagjit Singh Dallewal, leader of SKM (Non-Political), stated on Thursday evening that the meeting in Chandigarh would include the participation of three central ministers along with Chief Minister Mann. Dallewal emphasized their commitment to engagement, saying, “We have come here. We do not run away from the meeting.”
One of the primary demands of the farmers is a legal guarantee for the MSP, which they claim was previously promised by the Centre. Additionally, the farmers are advocating for the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm laborers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases, and justice for the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

The upcoming meeting in Chandigarh holds significance as it presents an opportunity for a direct dialogue between farmer representatives and the central government ministers, aiming to address the longstanding concerns of the agricultural community.
Noida farmers hold protest march amid heavy security
In Noida, thousands of farmers from around 100 villages took to the streets, seeking hiked compensation and making an unsuccessful bid to march towards Parliament. Noida Police, along with Delhi Police, heightened security measures by setting up barricades at Chilla border, preventing protesters from entering the national capital.

Several police personnel equipped with anti-riot gear, tear gas shells, and water cannons were deployed at the Chilla border. A minor scuffle ensued between the protesters and security personnel near the Dalit Prerna Sthal during an attempt to detain local farmer leaders.
The farmers, including women and elderly individuals, marched to press for hiked compensation and developed plots in lieu of their land acquired by local development authorities in Noida and Greater Noida. The protest march caused disruptions in vehicular traffic on key routes, including the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and DND Flyway.
Rakesh Tikait, leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), joined the protesters in Greater Noida, where BKU members have been demonstrating outside the local authority office. The protesters, led by Bharatiya Kisan Parishad (BKP), demanded increased compensation and developed plots for the acquired land.
In anticipation of the farmers’ protest, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police had imposed CrPC Section 144 for Wednesday and Thursday, issuing a traffic advisory for commuters. Heavy traffic jams were witnessed on various routes in Noida and Greater Noida between 12 pm and 5 pm, with police officials working to ensure smooth traffic movement.
The situation remains tense but under control, with meaningful conversations ongoing between farmers and authorities near the Delhi border, as reported by a police spokesperson around 5 pm. The engagement with Noida farmers coincides with the central team’s meeting in Chandigarh, highlighting the multifaceted challenges faced by farmers across different regions.

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