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Lohri celebrated by farmers protesting agri laws in Noida

PTI | Noida | Updated: 14-01-2021 00:43 IST | Created: 14-01-2021 00:18 IST
Lohri celebrated by farmers protesting agri laws in Noida
Representative Image Image Credit: IANS

Scores of farmers protesting against the new farm laws in Noida celebrated Lohri, the harvest festival, with 'revri', popcorns and bonfires in bone-chilling weather on Wednesday night.

Farmers belonging to Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) are camping at the Chilla border and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) have dug their heels at the Dalit Prerna Sthal since first week of December.

The festival of Lohri was celebrated by the protestors even as the minimum temperature plunged to 5 degrees Celsius, while the maximum was recorded at 17 degrees Celsius with dense fog during the morning hours, according to the weather department.

BKU (Lok Shakti) welcomed the Supreme Court's stand on the contentious issue but expressed dissatisfaction with the four-member committee formed by it.

The apex court had Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three new farm laws, enacted in September last year, till further orders, and announced the four-member panel to resolve the deadlock between protestors and the Centre.

Bhupinder Singh Mann, President of Bhartiya Kisan Union; Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sangthana, Maharashtra; Pramod Kumar Joshi, director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati have been named in the panel.

''We welcome the Supreme Court's decision. But at the same time, we are sceptical about the members chosen in the panel because they have previously appeared to be in favour of the new laws,'' BKU (Lok Shakti) spokesperson Shailesh Kumar Giri said.

''We mean no contempt of the apex court but ... ye to aisa hua jaisa billi ko doodh ki rakhwali ke liye laga diya ho (it is like having cats guard your milk),'' Giri said, expressing apprehension over the panel's neutrality on the issue.

Around 50 members of BKU (Lok Shakti), including its chief Sheoraj Singh, celebrated the harvest festival at the Dalit Prerna Sthal in Noida on Wednesday night, distributing 'revri', popcorns and performing rituals before the bonfire.

BKU (Bhanu) and BKU (Lok Shakti), both with an influence in Uttar Pradesh, are not a part of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmers unions, which are leading the charge at Delhi's border points in Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, but have extended their support to the cause.

Thousands of farmers are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against the 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 protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the ''mercy'' of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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