Tikait Firm on Protests, Hopes For Breakthrough

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said that the Samyukt Kisan Morcha will meet on Thursday to decide the future course of the agitation….reports Asian Lite News

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, who heads the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), on Wednesday said the ongoing protests on Delhi borders will continue till all the demands that they have put forward are met.

However, he held out hope of a breakthrough saying that all disputes or issues of contention could be resolved through dialogue.

Speaking to media persons on Wednesday, the farmer leader, who was at the forefront of the previous long-haul protest against the agricultural laws, informed that the Samyukt Kisan Morcha will meet on Thursday to decide the future course of the agitation.

“This movement will continue till all demands are met. I believe that a breakthrough could be achieved through dialogue. The entire nation is upset over the use of tear gas on farmers waging a peaceful protest in Haryana. The farmers wouldn’t back down and retreat. The SKM will meet tomorrow and decide on its next course of action,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Tikait said a memorandum outlining the demands of the protesting farmers would be submitted to both the state and central governments.

“The key demands put forward by the farmers include the MSP (Minimum Support Price) guarantee, the rollback of the Electricity Amendment Bill and the implementation of the Swaminathan committee report. If there is no guarantee on MSP, farmers across the whole country will face problems,” Tikait said.

Underlining the need for an MSP, Tikait also advocated for the exclusion of private players from the agricultural sector.

“The private players should have no role to play in agriculture. Big demonstrations are being held across the country with this demand and this movement will be taken forward in the coming days,” he said, adding, “If the government doesn’t agree to the demands then there’s little sense in holding talks with the government,” he added.

“Our meeting on Thursday will be attended by farmers from across the country. The talks will decide how to take our agitation forward. The farmers protesting on the borders of Delhi aren’t just from Punjab and Haryana but from across the country,” Tikait said.

Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda yet again articulated the Centre’s willingness to hold further discussions with farmers and invited them for the fifth round of talks to arrive at a middle-ground and a breakthrough.

“If they agree to a fifth round of meetings, we are ready to discuss all issues like MSP, stubble, FIR and crop diversification. However, I would urge them to maintain peace and look for a solution through dialogue,” Munda told ANI on Wednesday.

With no substantive takeaways from the fourth round of talks with the Centre, the farmer leaders resumed the ‘Dilli Chalo’ march on Wednesday morning.

The farmers have raised several demands, including an Ordinance ensuring legal guarantees for MSPs, loan waivers and withdrawal of FIRs filed in connection with previous protests.

As the march to the national capital commenced on Tuesday, protesting farmers from Punjab were stopped by security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana. (ANI)

21-Year-Old Punjab Farmer Dies Allegedly in Police Action

Farmers and political leaders marching towards Delhi from the Shambhu and Khanauri borders, alongside Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) representatives, alleged that a 21-year-old farmer from Punjab’s Bathinda, part of the ‘Dilli Chalo’ convoy, died due to police action. This claim is refuted by Haryana police.

After unsuccessful talks between Union ministers and protesting farmers, leaders of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non Political) announced plans to resume the march on Delhi from February 21. However, their attempt was halted by Haryana police using tear gas shells to prevent them from entering the state.

Amidst heavy tear gas use at the Shambhu border, SKM (Non Political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal informed reporters of the death of Shubhkaran Singh, a young farmer, allegedly due to police action.

Haryana Youth Congress subsequently announced Shubhkaran Singh’s death on social media, attributing it to police gunfire. Dr. H.S. Rekhi, medical superintendent at Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital, confirmed Shubhkaran Singh’s arrival at the hospital, stating the 21-year-old was declared “brought dead” alongside two others.

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