Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: Centre to hold 8th round of talks at 2 pm; Delhi borders continue to remain closed

12:54 (IST)

SC expresses concern over large gathering of farmers amid COVID pandemic

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over large gatherings of farmers protesting against the farm laws at Delhi borders and asked the Centre whether they were “protected” against the spread of COVID-19.

Referring to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizammudin Markaz after the nationwide lockdown was announced last year, a Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, said, “The same problem is going to arise in farmers' agitation. I do not know if farmers are protected from COVID. So, the same problem is going to arise. It is not that everything is over.”

12:42 (IST)

Harsimrat Kaur Badal says Centre has lost trust of farmers

Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the Centre has lost the trust of the entire farming community and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to farmers who are registering their protests at the doorstep of the national capital.

In an interview to PTI, Badal, leader of the BJP's erstwhile ally, said, "Farmers are dying at the doorstep of the central government while protesting for their demands. Who will be responsible for deaths of 'annadaatas' of the country?" Badal said.

alking about the ongoing meetings between protesting farmers and Centre, Badal said after seven rounds of meetings nothing concrete has come out. "After several rounds of meetings if ministers are unable to resolve the farmers' issues then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to protesting farmers," Badal said.

12:41 (IST)

Narendra Singh Tomar-led committee to meet 41 farm leaders

The eighth round of talks will be held between a ministerial committee, including Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash, and 41 representatives of farm organisations at the Vigyan Bhavan.

12:35 (IST)

Peaceful protests integral part of democracy: Rahul Gandhi

Voicing support for the farmers' agitation, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said protests are an integral part of democracy.

In a tweet in Hindi, he further said, "The movement that farmers have launched is getting support from across the country. You too should raise your voice in support of them so that anti-farmers’ laws are repealed.” 

12:32 (IST)

Minister says clause-wise talks will solve farmers' issues

MoS (agriculture) Kailash Choudhary said a solution to the farmers' issues could be found if clause-wise talks are held between the protestors and the Centre. "Government of India is ready to make amendments in the laws. We are hopeful of resolution,” he said.

On Thursday, Choudhary told ANI "There are people like Communists who are inciting farmers and don't want peace in the country". Choudhary urged the farmers to be cautious.

Meanwhile, Balvinder Singh Raju, a farmer, told Hindustan Times that there is no scope for clause-by-clause discussion between protestors and the government.

12:12 (IST)

Border cross points between Delhi and UP, Haryana remain closed for traffic

Border crossing points to Delhi from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh continued to remain closed for traffic on Friday.

The Delhi Police have advised commuters from Uttar Pradesh to take routes passing through Anand Vihar, DND, Loni DND, and Apsara as Chilla and Ghazipur border crossings are closed.

The Delhi-Haryana borders at Singhu, Tikri, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli, and Mangesh remain closed. The police have advised commuters from Haryana to take alternate routes via Lampur Safiabad, Palla, and Singhu school toll tax borders. The traffic from Haryana has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK Road. Commuters have been advised to avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road, and NH-44.

12:09 (IST)

Over 60 farmers have died during protests so far

Over 60 farmers have died till now, many die to the extreme weather conditions prevailing in the northern part of India.

The protesters say the laws will threaten their financial position and bargaining power. The government, however, insists these will only free them more than ever to trade their produce in a wider market.

12:06 (IST)

Farmers' protest enters Day 44

For 44 days now, thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been camping at several Delhi borders, demanding repeal of the laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support prices for their crops, among other things.

In the seven round of talks between the farmers’ unions and the government so far, two of the four demands have been met with. The farmers, however, said the protest would continue unless the farm reform laws are repealed.

11:56 (IST)

Eighth round of talks between Centre, farmers at 2 pm

The protesting farmers will hold their eighth round of talks with the government today at 2 pm, even as the Centre ruled out any possibility of repealing the three agricultural laws.

The last round of talks on 4 January failed to end the impasse and the farmers threatened to intensify the stir and enter Delhi on Republic Day if their demands were not met.

Farmers' protest LATEST Updates: As the farmers’ agitation against the agricultural laws enters the 44th day on Friday, the Centre will hold the eight round of talks with farmers on Friday. The talks to be held at 2 pm come a day after a tractor rally was held on Thursday on various Delhi borders.

Farm union leaders had said last week that thousands of farmers will enter Delhi on Republic Day and hold a tractor parade.

The eighth round of talks will be held between a ministerial committee, including Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash, and 41 representatives of farm organisations.

Seven rounds of talks held so far have borne no results as the farmers are adamant on the complete rollback of the three new farm laws, while the government refuses to repeal them. Even as the farmers also stuck to the demand of legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), The government offered making amendments to the laws as well as forming committee comprising members from both sides to review these, proposals that were rejected by the farmers.

On Thursday, Tomar met religious leader Baba Lakha Singh, one of the heads of the Nanaksar Sikh sect based in Punjab. Singh, who has been organising langar at the protest sites, said he wished to mediate between the government and protesting farmers.

Border crossing points to Delhi from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh continued to remain closed for traffic on Friday due to the ongoing farmers’ protest.

The Delhi Police have advised commuters from Uttar Pradesh to take routes passing through Anand Vihar, DND, Loni DND, and Apsara as Chilla and Ghazipur border crossings are closed. The Delhi-Haryana borders at Singhu, Tikri, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli, and Mangesh, too, remain closed.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and other states are camped in and around Delhi over the past many weeks in protest against the new farm laws.

The laws in contention are Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The Supreme Court of India will hear petitions against farm laws and issues pertaining to the farmers’ protest on 11 January.



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