"We should be allowed to protest peacefully": Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher

Meanwhile, police lobbed multiple rounds of teargas shells to disperse farmers who were approaching the police barricade at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border to resume the 'Dilli Chalo' protest on Wednesday.

ANI | Updated: 15-02-2024 09:01 IST | Created: 15-02-2024 09:01 IST
"We should be allowed to protest peacefully": Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher
General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sarvan Singh Pandher. Image Credit: ANI
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We want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold a dialogue with farmers or else we should be allowed to protest peacefully, said the General Secretary of the Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sarvan Singh Pandher, as the farmers' protest escalates into a full-blown crisis. Pandher told ANI on Thursday, "We have a meeting with the Union ministers today. We want PM Modi to have a conversation with them so that we can solve our demands."

Stating that India is a democratic country, he said, "We should be allowed to protest peacefully in the National Capital. The government should remove the blockades at all entry points." The meeting of the Farmers unions and the central government is scheduled for 5 pm on Thursday. Sarvan Singh Pandher said that the unions are hopeful of a resolution.

"We are going to attend the meeting in a completely positive mood today and we have full confidence that a positive solution will emerge from this meeting..." Pandher said. The farmers have put forth 12 demands before the central government for which they're marching to Delhi. The protest this time has been called by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee led by farmer union leaders Jagjeet Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher.

According to the protesting farmers, the centre promised them better crop prices, after which they ended the 2021 protest. They are demanding to enact a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, in line with the Swaminathan Commission report. They are also demanding a complete debt waiver and a scheme to provide pensions to farmers and farm labourers.

The farmers have also urged to scrap the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and are demanding to reintroduce the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, ensuring consent from farmers and compensation at 4 times the collector rate. Further, they are demanding to punish those involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings. An appeal to provide 200 days of employment per year and a daily wage of Rs 700 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA), linking it with farming, has also been made by the farmers.

Also, they have demanded compensation to the families of farmers who died during the protests in 2021 and a job for any family member. (ANI)

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

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