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Farmers Protest: Fourth round of talks between agitators, Union Ministers held in Chandigarh

The farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff among other demands.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Updated on: February 18, 2024 23:35 IST
Farmers Protest: Fourth round of talks between agitators,
Image Source : PTI Farmers Protest: Fourth round of talks between agitators, Union Ministers today amid stalemate

The meeting between the farmer leaders and Union Ministers for a fourth round of talks was held in Chandigarh as the agitation entered day six on Sunday. The two sides met on February 8, 12 and 15 as well but those talks remained inconclusive. Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai arrived at the meeting venue in Chandigarh in connection with the ongoing protest. Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann also arrived at the meeting venue in Chandigarh.

The meeting between central government ministers and farmer leaders went on for several hours. In the meeting, efforts were made to create a consensus on these three issues - guarantee of MSP, recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and loan waiver of farmers. Efforts are on to get the farmers to agree on a framework made by the Central Government especially on the issue of MSP.

The talks come amid intense protests at the Haryana-Delhi border by farmers from Punjab, Haryana and even Uttar Pradesh. One of the main demands of the farmers remains a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops. 

Ban on Internet services extended

Just a day earlier, the Haryana government extended the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by two more days till February 19 in the wake of the farmers' agitation.

The affected districts are Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa. The government had earlier extended the suspension of mobile internet on February 13 and 15.

Haryana Police uses tear gas to disperse protesting farmers

Earlier on February 16, Haryana Police fired tear gas shells to disperse protesting farmers when they moved towards the barricades at the Shambhu border near Ambala. There were clashes between the farmers and Haryana Police personnel on the first two days of the protest as well.

Protesting farmers have stayed put at Shambhu and Khanauri points on Punjab's border with Haryana for the fifth day after their 'Delhi Chalo' march was stopped by security forces which led to clashes.

Why are the farmers protesting? 

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had given the call for the 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the BJP-led central government to accept their demands.

The farmers are also demanding the 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | FACT CHECK: Viral video claiming water canon sprayed at protesting farmers turns out to be fake

ALSO READ | Farmers can 'gherao' Parliament, says Haryana government, files affidavit in court

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