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‘Delhi Chalo’ Farmers’ Protest On Hold Till Feb 29

The farmers protesting to press the Centre for their various demands will stay put at the two protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border till February 29.

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PTI
Farmers protest turns violent. (Fil photo-Representational image) | Photo: PTI
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The farmers protesting to press the Centre for their various demands have announced to hold ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march till February 29.

The farmers have said that they will stay put at the two protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border till February 29 when the next course of action will be decided.

Haryana incindent:

The farmers meeting in Haryana turned violent after the police used tear gas canisters on the gathering while the former resorted to stone pelting.

The incident happened in Haryana’s Kheri Chopta on Friday as police fired tear gas and also detained leaders, India Today reported.

They added thousands of farmers had gathered at Kheri Chopta at the site on farmers’ leaders and khap panchayats call to march towards the Khanauri border. The authorities had deployed stringent security which they said was a measure to maintain peace and order.

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However, things soon escalated after the police fired tear gas to disperse the farmers, the reports stated. Later, they stated the police then detained farmer leaders and the tension between the two sides escalated and the farmers resorted to stone pelting.

The farmers have accused the police of behaving “like General Dyer".

Farmer leaders To Decide On 'Delhi Chalo' call on Feb 29:

Meanwhile, the farmers protesting to press the Centre for their various demands will stay put at the two protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border till February 29 when the next course of action will be decided, their leader Sarwan Singh Pandher has said.

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A decision to this effect was taken Friday evening by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), which are spearheading the ongoing agitation at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders.

"The next announcement about the agitation will be made on February 29," KMM leader Pandher told the media at Khanauri protest site.

He also shared details about how the protesting farmers will spend their next few days: a candle march will be held on February 24, seminars will be organised on issues related to farmers on February 25, effigies of the World Trade Organization and the Centre will be burnt on February 26, and several meetings of SKM (Non-Political) and KMM will be held over the next two days.

Farmer leaders Wednesday put the 'Delhi Chalo' march on hold for two days after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at Khanauri.

Shubhkaran Singh (21), a native of Bathinda, was killed and 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at the Khanauri protest site on Wednesday. The incident took place when some protesting farmers were trying to head towards barricades.

Pandher said the SKM (Non-Political) and the KMM will hold a candle march on February 24 at the two border points.

Among other things, the protesting farmers are demanding the agriculture sector be taken out of the World Trade Organisation agreement. Pandher said seminars will be organised on the subject at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points on February 25.

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On February 26, farmers will burn effigies of the WTO and also of the Centre, said Pandher.

He further said a meeting of the forums associated with the SKM and KMM will be held on February 27 at the two border points. A common meeting of SKM and KMM forums will take place on February 28, he added.

Farmer leaders are also at the loggerheads with the Punjab government over the issue of the registration of an FIR in the death of Shubhkaran Singh.

On Friday, they said the cremation will not take place till the state government registers a case against those who were responsible for his death.

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They also slammed the Punjab Police for expressing its inability in filing an FIR against security personnel from Haryana whom the protesters hold responsible for Shubhkaran Singh's death.

They were also demanding the state government accord him the 'martyr' status.

The development came hours after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a government job for Singh's sister.

Singh's body was kept in a mortuary of Rajindra Hospital in Patiala but the post-mortem was delayed as the farmers pressed for acceptance of their demands.

Speaking to reporters in Patiala earlier during the day, Pandher said the Punjab CM had himself claimed that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for the death of the young farmer.

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But now his officials are saying that it was not possible, said Pandher.

The SKM (Non-Political) and the KMM are spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price for crops and a farm loan waiver.

Thousands of farmers have been camping at Khanauri and Shambhu borders with their tractor-trolleys and trucks agitating for their demands.

The Punjab farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, 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.

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Haryana extends mobile internet suspension in seven districts:

The Haryana government has further extended the suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by a day till Saturday in the wake of the ongoing farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march.

Mobile internet and bulk SMS services were first suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa on February 11 and the suspension was extended on February 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 21.

In the order issued on Friday, Additional Chief Secretary T V S N Prasad said, "After assessment of the current prevailing law and order situation in the state, the conditions are still critical and tense in the district Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa."

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"...There is a clear potential of disruption of public utilities, damage to public assets and amenities and disturbance of public law and order in these districts on account of misuse of internet services by way of spread of inflammatory material and false rumours," he said.

The order was issued under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017.

The suspension of mobile internet services, bulk SMS (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and all dongle services, etc., provided on mobile networks except voice calls in the jurisdiction of districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa has been extended till February 24 (2359 hours), the order stated.

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Prasad said the order is extended to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in jurisdictions of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa, including Dabwali, districts in Haryana.

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