Farmers' protest LIVE Updates: Agitating bodies to observe hunger strike till 5 pm, Arvind Kejriwal to join fast

09:34 (IST)

Agitators block Delhi-Jaipur highway

A large group of farmers on Sunday blocked the key Delhi-Jaipur national highway when it was stopped by police on Haryana-Rajasthan border.

In view of nationwide protest, the Delhi Police has enhanced security at city border points.

PTI

09:33 (IST)

Farmers begin hunger strike at Delhi's Singhu border

Farmer leaders on Monday started their day-long hunger strike against the Centre''s new farm laws and said protests will be held at all district headquarters later in the day, even as more people are expected to join ongoing agitation at Delhi border points.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh said, "Representatives of farmer unions have started their hunger strike at Singhu Border."

PTI

09:22 (IST)

40 farmer leaders begin hunger strike

Farmers' leaders, including Rakesh Tikait of Bharatiya Kisan Union, commenced a hunger strike that will continue till 5 pm at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP border).

"We want to wake the govt up. So, 40 farmer leaders of the United Farmers' Front will sit on hunger strike today at all borders points between. 25 of them will sit at Singhu border, 10 at Tikri border and 5 at UP border," said Harinder Singh Lakhowal, General Secy, BKU (Punjab).

09:12 (IST)

SC to hear plea against gathering at Delhi borders

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on 16 December a plea seeking a direction to authorities to immediately remove the farmers who are protesting at several border points of Delhi against three new farm laws, saying commuters are facing hardships due to the road blockades and the gatherings might lead to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

According to the apex court website, a bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian will hear the plea filed by law student Rishabh Sharma, who has also sought directions to authorities to open the roads at Delhi's borders, shift the protesters to the allotted place and provide guidelines on social distancing and use of masks at the protest site in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

09:10 (IST)

BKU demands pension for elderly farmers

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) demanded a pension of Rs 10,000 monthly for farmers and cultivators who have reached an age of 60 years. "There should be a government compensation of Rs 1 crore for family of a farmer who dies, Rs 2 crore for martyrs in police and Rs 5 crore for martyrs in defence forces," the body demanded.

09:05 (IST)

Union ministers blame tukde tukde gang, Leftists for protests

Even as Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary told PTI that the government would soon "decide a date" and call farmer leaders for the sixth round of talks, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad invoked the “tukde tukde gang”, warning of “stern action". Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that those opposed to the farm Bills were the same cast of “Leftist” characters opposed to the abrogation of Article 370, the new citizenship law (CAA) and the Ram temple.

09:03 (IST)

Farmers send back group of Jamia students from UP Gate

Farmers protesting against the Centre's new agricultural laws refused to allow a group of Jamia Millia Islamia students to join their agitation at the UP Gate (Ghaziabad)-Ghazipur (Delhi) border on Sunday, police said.

The group of six students, including girls, had arrived there to render support to the farmers by singing and playing ''dafli'' (tambourine), they said. When the farmer leaders objected to their presence at the site, police sent the students back, DSP Anshu Jain told PTI.

08:55 (IST)

BJP to hold farmers' meets in UP to raise awareness on agri laws

To make people aware about the recent farm laws brought by the Centre, the ruling BJP will organise farmers' meets at various places in Uttar Pradesh, the party said in a statement issued here on Sunday. These "kisan sammelan" will begin on Monday and continue till 18 December.

Uttar Pradesh BJP general secretary Govind Narayan Shukla said the party's state in-charge, Radha Mohan Singh, will address the "kisan sammelan" at Ayodhya and Basti, state party chief Swatantra Dev Singh will address the farmers'' meet in Gonda on 15 December and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya will address another "kisan sammelan" in Varanasi also on 15 December.

08:52 (IST)

Kejriwal to observe fast in support of farmers

The hunger strike, which will be observed from 8 am till 5 pm, received the support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. "I will hold a one-day fast tomorrow in support of farmers' protests. I appeal to AAP volunteers to join in. Centre should immediately accept all demands of farmers protesting the laws and bring a bill to guarantee MSP (minimum support price)," he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the Kejriwal government had "backstabbed" the farmers by "shamelessly" notifying one of the farm laws on 23 November. "And now, they are indulging in theatrics by announcing that they would be sitting on a fast in support of the farmers' hunger strike on Monday," he said.

08:52 (IST)

Protesting bodies to go in hunger strike

Leaders of farmers’ bodies will observe a hunger strike on Monday and hold demonstrations across the country, two days ahead of the scheduled hearing of a plea against their gathering at the Delhi border in protest against farm laws.

Additionally, dharnas will be staged at all district headquarters across the country and the farmers will submit a memorandum of demands addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Farmers' protest LATEST Updates: Leaders of farmers’ bodies will observe a hunger strike on Monday and hold demonstrations across the country, two days ahead of the scheduled hearing of a plea against their gathering at the Delhi border in protest against farm laws.

In Punjab, farmer unions will protest on Monday outside the offices of deputy commissioners of all districts, Reliance Group shopping malls and fuel pumps, and outside the houses of BJP functionaries. Around 400 police personnel, including an RAF company, have been deployed by Rewari police to stop more farmers marching towards Delhi.

The hunger strike, which will be observed from 8 am till 5 pm, received the support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. "I will hold a one-day fast tomorrow in support of farmers' protests. I appeal to AAP volunteers to join in. Centre should immediately accept all demands of farmers protesting the laws and bring a bill to guarantee MSP (minimum support price)," he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the Kejriwal government had "backstabbed" the farmers by "shamelessly" notifying one of the farm laws on 23 November. "And now, they are indulging in theatrics by announcing that they would be sitting on a fast in support of the farmers' hunger strike on Monday," he said.

The Singhu border, where farmers have gathered since late November, is likely to witness a logjam with 10,000 protesters expected to join those at the protest site, The Times of India reported. Around 1.45 pm on Sunday, traffic on the Delhi-Jaipur national highway was stalled at Jaisingh Khera as hundreds of farmers from Rajasthan were stopped by police from going further. The border was opened for vehicles coming from Delhi after 3.5 hours, according to officials.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi said reforms will “help draw investment to agriculture”, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the opposition parties ran a propaganda against the new farm laws. "When reforms are undertaken it will benefit farmers in the long run. But in the short run, some may face difficulty. We know we can achieve no gain without difficulties," the Union Minister, who has held several round of negotiations with farmers' representatives, told PTI.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad warned against the infiltration of "tukde tukde gang" and warned that strict action will be taken against them. Prasad said, "They are saying that they will not withdraw their movement unless and until these laws are withdrawn. We would like to say that Narendra Modi government respects farmers but would like to make it clear that stern action will be taken against 'tukde tukde gang' taking advantage of farmers movement," Prasad said. Meanwhile, MoS Agriculture Kailash Choudhury said he hopes the farmers come with a "positive outlook" to the next round of talks. "I hope that the farmers come with a positive outlook to the next round of talks. If the farmers move two steps, then the government will also move two steps forward, only then a solution can be reached," he said.

On Sunday, the Delhi-Jaipur highway was closed for a few hours as farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana started marching towards the national capital. Over 4,000 policemen were deployed in Gurugran and Faridabad to stop the march.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) faction saw discord on Sunday over the opening of a highway from Noida to Delhi, a day after Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh, the president of the organisation, met with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The UP unit chief of the BKU (Bhanu) Yogesh Pratap, who was holding a sit-in protest on the Chilla road for the last 12 days, disagreed with the decision.

This is the second nationwide protest in less than a week after highways were blocked last Tuesday as a part a countrywide shutdown call backed by opposition parties and trade unions. Despite several round of talks with the government, farmers have said the protests will continue till the new farm laws are scrapped.

Choudhary on Sunday said the government will soon decide a date and call union leaders for the next round of talks. The previous five rounds of talks between the central government and representatives of 40 farmer unions remained inconclusive. The sixth round of talks did not take place after farmer leaders rejected the government's draft proposal to amend certain provisions of the farm laws and declined to participate in the meeting.

Nine-year-old Manipur climate activist Licypriya Kangujam was at the Singhu border to back the stir. “Our farmers are the biggest victims of climate change. The government should solve the ongoing farmer crisis at the earliest,” she said. Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav and activist Medha Patkar were among those who reached the site at Shahjahanpur where Haryana police have blocked protesters from Rajasthan.



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