Farmers’ Protest to end after more than a year as Govt. bows to demands

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Announcing an end to their over-a-year-long agitation, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) decided to call off their protest at New Delhi’s borders on Thursday. Farmers will start vacating the protest sites from Saturday.

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Joginder Ugrahan confirmed that the protest will be called off, after a formal letter with a proposal from the government, including the unconditional withdrawal of all police cases lodged against protesters during the agitation, was received.

SKM said on December 11, a ‘Vijay Diwas’ (victory day) will be celebrated at all borders, toll plazas, and protest places across the country, following which the protesters will return.

“We wanted to celebrate it tomorrow but have postponed it to December 11 in view of the tragedy yesterday where 13 people were killed in a chopper crash,” Yogendra Yadav, activist and Swaraj India president, said.

The government had sent a draft proposal to the farm unions on Wednesday, saying that in light of the concessions proposed, there was no justification for the agitation to continue, and requesting the unions to call it off. On Thursday, SKM leaders met after getting the proposal from the government.

SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “The andolan has been suspended. The Unions will meet on January 15 to review if the government implements the proposals agreed upon.”

Before the meeting, Ashok Dhawale, part of the five-member SKM committee, said they had received a formal communication from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. “The signed letter will now be placed before farm unions in the SKM meeting and a decision regarding lifting of morchas will be announced post the meeting,” he had said.

Protesting farmers at Singhu had started to pack up their trolleys in the morning, as the outcome of the meeting was expected.

The protests began on November 25 last year, when thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, marched towards the national capital, demanding a complete repeal of three contentious legislations — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

On November 19 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the three laws would be scrapped. Subsequently, they were repealed in Parliament.

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