Farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march continues into fifth day, BKU (Ugrahan) plans protest at BJP leaders' residences

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 17-02-2024 10:01 IST | Created: 17-02-2024 10:01 IST
Farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march continues into fifth day, BKU (Ugrahan) plans protest at BJP leaders' residences
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The Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) will on Saturday hold dharnas outside the residences of three senior BJP leaders in Punjab on the fifth day of the farmers' protest over their various demands, including a legal guarantee for MSP.

Apart from holding dharnas outside the homes of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, the BJP's Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar and senior leader Kewal Singh Dhillon, the union will also hold protests at toll plazas in the state, extending support to the farmers' ''Delhi Chalo'' call.

On the fifth day of their 'Delhi Chalo' march -- called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha -- the farmers stayed put at the two border points of Punjab and Haryana as they press the Centre to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops.

The farmers from Punjab began their march to Delhi on Tuesday but were stopped by security personnel at the Shambhu and the Khanauri points of Punjab's border with Haryana. The protesters have stayed put at the two border points since then. The Gurnam Singh Charuni-led Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni), which is based in Haryana, will on Saturday take out a tractor rally in solidarity with the protesting farmers.

Union ministers Arjun Munda, Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai and farmer leaders will meet on Sunday for the fourth round of talks. The two sides met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15 but those talks remained inconclusive.

On Friday, the Haryana Police released a series of video clips that purported to show several farmers pelting them with stones and attempting to provoke security personnel at the Shambhu border.

In a post on X, the police asserted that ''ruckus'' cannot be allowed under the guise of the farmers' movement. They claimed 25 security personnel -- 18 from the Haryana Police and seven paramilitary force jawans -- were injured in clashes with the farmers.

Farmer leaders spearheading the ''Delhi Chalo'' call claimed that the Haryana security personnel used ''force'' against the protesters by hurling tear gas shells and firing rubber bullets at them, leaving many injured.

A 63-year-old farmer, who was among the protesters at the Shambhu border, died of a heart attack on Friday.

Gian Singh, from Punjab's Gurdaspur district, complained of chest pain in the morning and was taken to the Civil Hospital in Punjab's Rajpura. From there, he was rushed to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala where doctors declared him dead.

The protesting farmers paid tribute to Singh.

A 52-year-old police sub-inspector posted at the Shambhu border also died, an official said on Friday.

Hira Lal, who was attached to the Haryana Railway Police, was deployed at the Shambhu border for the farmers' protest, a police spokesperson said.

He experienced a sudden decline in his health while on duty, he added.

Sarwan Singh Pandher, a farm leader, on Friday accused the Centre of trying to ''suppress'' the voices of the protesters, claiming social media accounts of farmers and Youtubers have been suspended.

Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and ''justice'' for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act - 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

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

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