Farmers suspend over a year-long agitation, will head home from Dec 11

Govt accepts pending demands

NEW DELHI, Dec 9: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha today announced the suspension of its over a year-long agitation and said farmers will head home from December 11 from protests sites on Delhi’s borders.
The announcement came after the SKM received an official letter from the Central Government, accepting the pending demands of farmers, including unconditional withdrawal of police cases against protesters. Farmer leaders said they would meet on January 15 to see if the demands have been met by the Government, asserting that this is not the end of the movement.
The Government also assured farmers that a committee on minimum support price (MSP) which will include SKM members will be formed.
“This is not the end as the movement is just suspended. We have decided to meet again on January 15,” SKM core committee member Balbir Singh Rajewal said at a press conference.
Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, started protesting at Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — on November 26 last year against the three contentious farm laws. The laws were repealed by Parliament on November 29, but farmers continued their protest over their pending demands.
Another SKM member Gurnam Singh Chaduni said that “a review meeting will be convened on January 15 to see if the Government has met all the demands. If it does not, we can take a call on resuming the protest”.
Farmer leaders also said that farmers will take out victory marches on December 11 to their respective places.
Welcoming the farmer unions’ decision to suspend their protest, Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan said it will allow the BJP to set its agenda for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls around the works done by the party’s Governments both at the Centre and the State.
Balyan, the BJP’s prominent Jat face from western Uttar Pradesh, said the party’s situation will further improve as the farmers are returning home “satisfied with the actions of the Narendra Modi Government”.
“It is a matter of happiness not only for me but for all of us and that they (farmers) are going home satisfied with the actions of the Government,” Balyan told reporters outside Parliament.
The SKM, an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, which has been spearheading the agitation, also apologised to people who had to face inconvenience due to its protests. (PTI)