Farmers at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border during a protest march in Punjab's Patiala district.

Farmers at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border during a protest march in Punjab's Patiala district.

Farmers’ Protest Enters Day 5, Talks with Centre Scheduled for Tomorrow

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As the farmers’ agitation enters its fifth day, tensions remain high following the recent ‘Bharat Bandh’ observed by protesting farmers across Punjab and Haryana. The deadlock continues between the farmers and the government, primarily over the demand for a Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee for crops.

Resuming their protest after a day of nationwide disruption, the farmers, predominantly from Punjab and Haryana, are resolute in their stance. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has announced plans to escalate their agitation in the upcoming days, with the Punjab unit convening a crucial meeting in Jalandhar on Sunday.

Amidst the impasse, Friday witnessed fresh confrontations between Haryana Police and protesting farmers near the Shambhu border, where tear gas shells were deployed to disperse the crowd. Despite several rounds of talks between farmer representatives and government officials, no breakthrough has been achieved thus far.

Tragically, a Haryana Police sub-inspector, Hira Lal, stationed at the Shambhu border, succumbed to health complications while on duty, further underscoring the intensity of the standoff.

The ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Friday, orchestrated by the SKM, saw widespread disruptions across several states, impacting public transportation and commercial activities. While the bandh unfolded peacefully in many regions, it evoked mixed responses in others, with markets remaining operational in some areas despite the call for shutdown.

In solidarity with the farmers’ cause, protests rippled through various parts of western Uttar Pradesh, with prominent leader Rakesh Tikait participating in demonstrations in Muzaffarnagar.

Accusing the government of clandestine negotiations and failing to uphold promises, the SKM issued a scathing statement, vowing to escalate their agitation until their demands, including MSP guarantees, pension for farmers, and justice for victims of past violence, are met.

The demands of the protesting farmers encompass a broad spectrum of issues, including MSP guarantees, the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, and the resolution of farm debt and electricity tariff concerns.

With tensions showing no signs of abating, the farmers remain steadfast in their resolve, demanding concrete assurances from the government regarding their livelihoods and agricultural welfare.

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