The farmers organisations agitation in Delhi borders which has witnessed 750 farmers deaths have ended their over year-long agitation after the Union Government on Thursday handed over a revised proposal as demanded.
This was announced by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha at Singhu border on Thursday. SKM leaders during a joint press conference announced that farmers would start leaving protest sites across the country on December 11, following a victory rally.
Despite the government’s climbdown, thousands of farmers had continued to camp out on major highways leading to New Delhi to press for other demands such as the guaranteed prices, as well as for legal action against protesters to be dropped.
Following the revocation of the law, in the Indian parliament the Union government led by Narendra Modi now has conceded to also other demands in writing as demanded by farmers associations and come out with proposal which was accepted by the farmers.
“We have received a letter from the government which has conceded to our requests,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, a senior farm union leader.
Farmers’ leaders would meet on Jan. 15 to review progress on the government’s assurances, Rajewal told a news conference.
“We will resume our protests if the government moves away from the assurances,” said Gurnam Singh Charuni, another farmers’ leader.
The government will set up a panel of growers and government officials to find ways of ensuring Minimum Support Prices (MSP), as the guaranteed rates are called, for all farm produce, according to the letter given by Union government
Farmers’ outstanding demands included retracting 45000 legal cases filed against the protesting growers and compensation for the families of those who died ( as per associations record it maintains 750 farmers ) during the protest.
Farmers had also asked the government to withdraw a draft of a proposed electricity bill, which they feared would lead to state governments withdrawing their right to free or subsidised power, used mainly for irrigation.
The government agreed to this and assured they will discuss the draft with farmers.
Growers had also called for dropping fines and other penalties for burning crop waste, a major source of pollution, and the government has assured farmers that they would be not be held criminally liable for crop waste burning.
“Since the government has addressed every possible concern of farmers, there was hardly any justification for their agitation,” said a government official who didn’t wish to be named in line with official policy.
After got the official letters Farmers distributed sweets and calling off the protest, some farmers started removing makeshift tents and began loading their belongings into trucks and tractor trolleys.
While Prime Minister Modi’s retreat after 13 months fight has cheered farmers, Inside BJP right wing policy makers fuming over and advocating fear that the repeal of the laws aimed at deregulating produce markets will starve the farm sector of much-needed private investment and saddle the government with budget-sapping subsidies for years.