22 Feb 2024

Farmers protest: After death of protester, farmer leaders halt 'Delhi Chalo' for 2 days

Farmers' leaders decided to temporarily halt the 'Delhi Chalo' march for two days following the death of a protester and injuries to around 12 police personnel during clashes at Khanauri, one of the two protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Sarwan Singh Pandher, a prominent farmer leader, stated that the next course of action would be determined on Friday evening. The Punjab farmers at Khanauri and Shambhu had resumed their agitation after a two-day pause following the fourth round of talks with a panel of three Union ministers in an attempt to break the deadlock.

Police used tear gas multiple times

Police used tear gas multiple times at the border points to disperse groups of protesters attempting to breach barricades on their way to the national capital. Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, who was earlier engaged in discussions with farmer leaders, called for further talks and appealed for maintaining peace.

Thousands of farmers continued their protest at Khanauri and Shambhu, demanding legal guarantees for minimum support prices and farm debt waivers. The deceased protester was identified as Subhkaran Singh (21) from Baloke village in Punjab's Bathinda district.

Pandher informed the media that a thorough review of the situation at Khanauri would take place. The decision on the next steps would be announced on Friday evening. The farmers alleged that Haryana Police used rubber bullets in addition to tear gas shells.

During the last round of talks, the Union ministers proposed purchasing five crops at minimum support prices for five years through central agencies. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha lead the protest, condemning the government's role and calling for a meeting.


Dallewal urges protesters to maintain peace

Political figures, including Rahul Gandhi, expressed concern over the farmer's death, holding the BJP accountable. Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal urged protesters to maintain peace for a successful outcome. 

The Haryana Police issued warnings to withdraw earthmoving equipment from protest sites, cautioning against potential harm to security forces. The farmers also reiterated their demands, including the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations and justice for victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

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