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Farmers plan fresh protest near Parliament to mark one year of agitation

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The agricultural unions will mark a year of their agitation against three agricultural laws passed by the Modi government on November 26 by converging in large numbers at the borders of the national capital, and by organizing demonstrations near Parliament for the duration of the next session of winter which will begin on November 29, their leaders announced Tuesday.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organization of agricultural unions, said it had decided to intensify protests across the country from November 26, which is a “historic” occasion. On November 28, they will hold a rally in Mumbai at Azad Maidan, the platform said.

Tens of thousands of farmers are campaigning against the three laws enacted in September 2020 to liberalize domestic agricultural trade. Agricultural unions, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, staged protests at five sites near Delhi’s borders: Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Dhansa and Shahjahanpur (on the Rajasthan-Haryana border).

On November 26, farmers from all northern states will visit these sites, a farm manager said. “This day is also Constitution Day, when the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. November 26 also marks a year of strike action across India by the working class year last, “said a statement from the agricultural unions.

“The SKM has decided that from November 29 until the end of this parliamentary session, 500 selected volunteer farmers will come to Parliament every day in tractor trucks peacefully and with total discipline, to assert their rights to demonstrate in the national capital. he added.

Farmers say the new laws – the Agricultural Trade and Trade Law (Promotion and Facilitation), the Essential Products Law (Amendment) and the Agreement on Price Assurance and Farmers’ Agricultural Services (empowerment and protection) – will leave them at the mercy of big companies who could dictate prices and wean them from state support.

The government argued that the changes would not alter an existing state-backed system to offer guaranteed prices, but would free up agricultural trade, stimulate investment and increase income.

The laws aim to ease restrictions on trade in agricultural products by establishing free markets, which will coexist with regulated markets, allow food traders to stock large stocks of food for future sales, and establish a national framework. for contract farming on the basis of written agreements. .

On January 26, a planned Republic Day celebration by farmers who staged a tractor march in Delhi took a turn for the worse when protesters turned violent and stormed the Red Fort, a landmark.

During one of the October 2 protests, a convoy of vehicles belonging to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for House Ajay Mishra Teni, reportedly passed through protesters in Lakhimpur, killing four farmers and triggering violence that killed four other people. . The minister’s son was subsequently arrested.

On January 13 of this year, the Supreme Court temporarily suspended the three laws and formed a panel of experts to review them. The panel submitted its report to the tribunal, which it has yet to consider.

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