Farmer unions take out a victory march as year-long protests come to an end
The protestors said that they might resume the agitation if the government does not fulfil its promises.
Thousands of farmers on Saturday vacated the sites at Delhi’s Singhu and Ghazipur borders where they had built tent cities during a year-long agitation against the agricultural laws.
As the farmers left the protest site, they played songs and prayed to celebrate “Vijay Divas” or the day of their victory.
Since Friday, the farmers have been dismantling their makeshift shelters at the Singhu border, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, had on Thursday called off the agitation after the government accepted their pending demands.
In a letter to the farmer bodies, the Centre on Thursday said that state governments in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have agreed to withdraw cases filed against the protesters during the agitation.
The Centre also said that a committee will decide on how to ensure that minimum support price is provided. The state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had given an in-principle approval to provide compensation to farmers who died during the protests, the letter also stated.
The farmers’ victory march was supposed to take place on Friday. However, it was postponed to Saturday so that it did not coincide with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat’s funeral. Rawat and 12 others were killed in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
On Saturday, families of farmers and residents from may villages around Delhi-Karnal-Ambala and Delhi-Hisar national highways welcomed the farmers with garlands and sweets, PTI.
At the Punjab-Haryana border, an aircraft showered flower petals on farmers returning home.
Meanwhile, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Charuni said that the unions will hold a review meeting on January 15. He said that they might resume the agitation if the government does not fulfil its promises.
Amid the celebrations, two farmers from Punjab were killed in an accident in Haryana’s Hisar district, after the tractor in which they were travelling, was hit by a truck, PTI reported.
The farm laws and their repeal
Thousands of farmers had been holding sit-in demonstrations at the borders of the national Capital since November last year. The agitation began with the demand for repeal of the three farm laws passed in the Parliament in September 2020.
The farmers were concerned about the new laws, which would have opened up the country’s agriculture markets to private companies. The Centre, however, had claimed that the laws would give farmers more access to markets and boost production through private investment.
On November 19, on the occasion of Guru Parab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the laws will be repealed.
On December 1, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the withdrawal of the laws after a Bill proposing their repeal was passed in Parliament during the Winter Session.