LIVE: Farmers allege NIA filing cases against those supporting protests

Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 52: The government on Friday asked protesting farmers to form an informal group to prepare a concrete proposal about their objections and suggestions on the three farm laws for further discussion at their next meeting on January 19 to end the long-running protest at various Delhi borders, but unions stuck to their main demand of a complete repeal of the three Acts.

As nearly five hours of talks between 41 unions and three central ministers did not reach a decisive stage in the ninth round of talks at Vigyan Bhawan, the two sides decided to meet again the next Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told farmer leaders at the meeting that the government has been flexible in its approach and urged the same from them.

Ahead of Republic Day, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava on Saturday held a review meeting in which he also took stock of the arrangements at farmers' agitation sites to maintain law and order.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for almost two months now against the three laws.

The Supreme Court on January 11 had stayed the implementation of the three laws till further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse.

Stay tuned for LIVE updates on farmers' protests


Farmers will not be cowed down by NIA notices: Congress

The Congress alleged on Sunday that probe agencies such as the NIA have become puppets in the hands of the government and are now being used against farmers, who will not be cowed down by their notices.
Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned the government's intention behind sending notices to farmers from agencies meant to probe terrorists, after it attempted to dub them as separatists, Naxals, terrorists and agents of China and Pakistan.
"Now the government sends notices to farmers of the country from such agencies probing terrorists. What is the intention of the (Narendra) Modi government, after it dubbed farmers as terrorists, Naxals and agents of China and Pakistan? What are you trying to probe Modiji?" he asked at a press conference.
"Regrettably, Prime Minister Modi and BJP leaders are out to prove that all farmers, the 62 crore farmers of this country are terrorists, militants, Naxalites, agents of China and Pakistan, but these fake notices of a puppet agency like the NIA to farmers will neither deter them nor cow them down.
"Modiji should understand that the farmers will not be scared by attempts at Income Tax raids on small shopkeepers in the grain markets or NIA or CBI notices to farmers and journalists. We will carry on until the three black laws are repealed," the Congress leader said.
He said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and its successive chiefs have been "puppets in the hands of the government" and there is evidence to support such a view.

UP committed to doubling farmers' income: Adityanath

Expressing his government's resolve to turn Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to double farmers' income into reality, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday emphasised upon the need of innovative efforts in agriculture.
While digitally inaugurating a Strawberry Mahotsava in Jhansi, the chief minister also called upon government officials to take concrete steps to create awareness among farmers about innovative farming.
Terming the Jhansi's Strawberry Mahotsava an innovative effort in farming, he said the district administrations should take effective and concrete steps to promote it.
In a statement issued here, the state government said the Strawberry Mahotsava will send a new message for the state and the country.
"This will bring a positive transformation in the Bundelkhand region. It will give a new identity to Bundelkhand,” he said.

Farmers stage protest rally against new farm laws in Jammu

Hundreds of farmers on Sunday staged a rally in support of the revocation of the new agriculture laws even as police briefly detained the main organiser along with nearly half a dozen of his supporters here.
The tractor rally was led by District Development Council (DDC) member Taranjit Singh Tony who defeated senior BJP leader and former minister Sham Choudhary in the recently held elections, officials said.

Farmers say they will go ahead with tractor march on Republic Day

Farmer unions protesting against the Centre's agri laws said on Sunday that they will go ahead with their proposed tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.
Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border protest site, union leader Yogendra Yadav said, "We will carry out a tractor parade on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi on Republic Day. The parade will be very peaceful. There will be no disruption of the Republic Day parade. The farmers will put up the national flag on their tractors."
The authorities had moved the Supreme Court seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march or any other kind of protest by farmers which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of Republic Day on January 26. The matter is pending in court.

Prepared to protest till May 2024: Union leader

Give up stubborn stand and come for clause by clause discussion on Jan 19: Tomar

Ahead of the tenth round of talks scheduled on January 19, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday again urged the protesting farm leaders to give up their "stubborn" stand on the new farm laws and come for a clause by clause discussion.
"Now that the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of these laws, then there is no question of being stubborn," Tomar told reporters before leaving for his home constituency of Morena in Madhya Pradesh.
The government wants farmer leaders to come for clause by clause discussion at the next meeting on January 19. Except for the demand of repealing the laws, the government is ready to consider "seriously and with an open heart" other alternatives, he said.

Farmers leave from Ludhiana for Delhi to participate in a tractor march

Punjab farmers have left from Ludhiana for Delhi to participate in a tractor parade on Republic Day as a mark of protest against the farm laws.
"We are leaving for Delhi with our tractors and will continue to do so till January 24. Around 11 thousand tractors will be making a move to Delhi from Ludhiana itself. In total, one lakh tractors will participate in the Republic Day tractor parade from Ludhiana, Amritsar, Faridkot, and Bhatinda districts," said a farmer.
Protesting farmers and their leaders have said that they will take out a massive tractor rally in Delhi on January 26 in protest of the three contentious farm laws.

SC-appointed panel on farm laws to hold first meeting on Jan 19

The Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three new farm laws is scheduled to hold its first meeting on January 19 at Pusa campus here, one of its members Anil Ghanwat said on Sunday.
The Supreme Court had on January 11 stayed the implementation of the three laws, against which farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for over 50 days now, till further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse.
Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann, however, recused from the committee last week.

Congress forms human chain in support of farmers in Telangana

Telangana State Congress members among and locals on Sunday formed a 'human chain' in Khammam district in support of the farmers' protest against the three Central 'farm laws'.
Protestors were seen standing in a straight line to show support to the farmers protesting in the national capital.
Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Congress Legislature Party leader told ANI, "The farm laws are totally against Indian farming community and agricultural sector. If the three laws continue, then the entire farming community and consumers of the country are going to face a serious problem."

NIA notices to supporters of farmers' stir: Punjab minister

Punjab Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Sunday slammed the Union government over notices by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to the farmers and those lending support to the farmers' protest.
"The farmer who feeds the entire nation with his blood, sweat and toil cannot be cowed down by such empty threats which would prove to be very costly for the ruling dispensation in New Delhi," said the Congress leader.
Randhawa said the notices by the NIA were part of a devious ploy by the BJP government to weaken the farmers' movement being waged on the borders of Delhi.

Doubling farmers income biggest priority of Modi govt: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said doubling farmers income was the biggest priority of the Narenda Modi government and that the three central farm laws would ensure manifold hike in their earnings.
Since coming to power, the Modi government had increased the budget for the farm sector and also the minimum support price on various crops, he said.
"I want to say that if there is any big priority of the Narendra Modi government it is to double the farmers income," he said at a event in Kerakalmatti village in this district in Karnataka.

Modi government committed to working for the welfare of farmers: Amit Shah

Most of the farmers and experts in favour of farm laws: Union Agriculture Minister

Farmers' protest: SC to hear Centre's plea against proposed tractor rally on Jan 18

The Supreme Court on Monday is scheduled to hear that the Central government's application seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally or any other kind of protest which sought to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of the Republic Day on January 26. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde will hear the application on January 18 along with pleas raising the issue of farmers protesting at Delhi borders.
The Centre, in an application filed through Delhi Police, has said that any proposed rally or protest which seeks to disrupt and disturb the Republic Day celebrations will cause an "embarrassment to the nation".
On January 12, the top court agreed to hear the application of Centre and posted it for hearing on January 18. The Bench had issued a notice on the application and said that it be served upon the farmers' unions, which are protesting against the new farm laws.

All India Kisan Sabha distances itself from proposal to reconstitute SC panel on farm laws

Distancing himself and his union from the proposal to reconstitute the Supreme Court's committee on farm laws All India Kisan Sabha's General Secretary, Hannan Mollah, on Sunday said the proposal was not his organisation's idea, and it has not presented any suggestions to the court.
"Our joint farmer unions under the ages of All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee never decided like that (proposal to reconstitute the Supreme Court's committee and replace members with neutral views). We have not gone to the court, nor given such new suggestion. This is not our idea," Mollah told ANI.
Talking about the government's 'vindictive attitude' towards farmers, he said that the Centre is trying to tire out the farmers and want them to leave without a solution.
"We are suffering and dying her for months, and the government is only giving us tareekh pe tareekh (dates after the date). They want to tire us out and hope that we leave without a solution. They have a vindictive attitude and tern everyone who supports the protest as anti-national," he added.

We're suffering and dying in cold weather, govt giving us 'tarikh pe tarikh': All India Kisan Sabha

Farmers' stir: Fuel pump stations suffer losses at Singhu border

The ongoing farmers' protest along the Delhi borders against the farm laws has started affecting the business operations of the fuel pump stations located in the areas.
Petrol pumps located near the Singhu border have been closed since November 26 last year, the day the farmers' agitation began. The fuel stations are estimated to be losing lakhs of rupees everyday. The lack of business is now impacting the salaries of the employees working at the pump stations. As business is nil, the employees' are getting only half of their salaries.
There are six petrol pumps on the Singhu border, which are completely closed. In at least 52 days, all the petrol pumps have lost crores of rupees. A staffer of a petrol pump said: "Currently, the pump station has been completely shut since November 26. The workers are waiting for the farmers' agitation to end soon."
Even after nine rounds of talks between the government and the farmers, no positive conclusion has been achieved. The petrol pump staff believes that if no solution is attained soon, their problems would further rise.

P Chidambaram slams NITI Aayog for rejection of RTI on farm laws

Citing NITI Aayog's rejection of activist Anjali Bhardwaj's Right to Information Act (RTI) request regarding the information on farm laws, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday slammed the government body for the delayed actions. In a series of tweets, Chidambaram quoted Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and called government actions "curiouser and curiouser" (stranger).
"NITI Aayog's Committee of Chief Minister's on Agriculture concluded its deliberations in September 2019 and gave its report After 16 months, the report has not yet been "presented" to NITI Aayog's governing council! Why, nobody knows and nobody will answer!" he tweeted. "Citing this as the reason, the RTI request of Ms Anjali Bhardwaj for a copy of the report has been rejected! Alice would have said "curiouser and curiouser" I salute Ms Anjali Bhardwaj for her tenacity and single-minded pursuit of information," the Congress leader said in another tweet.
Chidambaram had criticised the Central government for its stand on protestors agitating against new farm laws.

Govt wants farmers to form informal group to make concrete proposals: Narendra Singh Tomar

Urging farmer unions to form an informal group among themselves to prepare concrete proposals to be discussed in the next meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday detailed discussions took place at the ninth round of talks but could not reach a decisive stage.
The two sides, therefore, decided to meet again on January 19 at 12 pm, Tomar told reporters after the end of the meeting that lasted for nearly five hours.
"Talks took place over three farm laws in a cordial atmosphere and detailed discussions took place on some issues, but couldn't reach a decisive stage," he said. "We suggested they can form an informal group of people who can understand the laws better and prepare some concrete proposals, detailing what are farmers' expectations and what clauses are problematic for them, which the government can consider with an open mind," the minister said. READ ON...

Assam Congress chief, others taken into custody during Raj Bhavan march against farm laws

Several senior Congress leaders, including its Assam unit president Ripun Bora, along with hundreds of party workers were taken into custody Saturday while marching towards Raj Bhavan to demand repeal of the new farm laws.
Among other prominent persons who were taken into custody were Leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the state Debabrata Saikia, his deputy Rakibul Hussain and Lok Sabha MPs- Gaurav Gogoi, Pradyut Bordoloi and Abdul Khaleque- police said.
The Congress had organised the 'Raj Bhavan Gherao' programme here to demand repeal of the 'anti-farmers black laws' and alleged price rise in the country. Farmers issue is likely to be an important poll agenda in the Assam assembly election due in March-April this year.

NIA summons protest leader, actor

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa and Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu on Sunday, January 17, in a case related to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the US-based secessionist group banned by India. NIA has summoned 40 people for questioning as witnesses in a case, news agency ANI reported.

Govt-farmers meet: 9th round ended with date for 10th round of talks

The government on Friday asked protesting farmers to form an informal group to prepare a concrete proposal about their objections and suggestions on the three farm laws for further discussion at their next meeting on January 19 to end the long-running protest at various Delhi borders, but unions stuck to their main demand of a complete repeal of the three Acts.
As nearly five hours of talks between 41 unions and three central ministers did not reach a decisive stage in the ninth round of talks at Vigyan Bhawan here, the two sides decided to meet again the next Tuesday.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told farmer leaders at the meeting that the government has been flexible in its approach and urged the same from them. READ ON...

How Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani were caught in crossfire over farming laws

Two of India’s richest men have landed in an unlikely controversy over farming laws, becoming targets of protesters who allege the tycoons have benefited from their close links to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
For weeks, tens of thousands of farmers have camped outside the nation’s capital, demanding the withdrawal of recently passed legislation they say, without evidence, was designed to allow billionaires such as Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani to enter farming. The tycoons say they have no such interest. More than 1,500 phone towers of Ambani’s wireless carrier were vandalised last month and some farmers called for a boycott of their businesses.
The fight between the government and the farmers has revived the debate on what Modi’s critics call a cozy nexus between the magnates and the popular leader--accusations they all have denied. The protests, one of Modi’s toughest political challenges yet, follow an eventful 2020 when the combined fortunes of Ambani and Adani swelled by almost $41 billion, even as millions of Indians lost their jobs to the pandemic that pummeled the $2.9 trillion economy. READ ON...


Attempts to intimidate farmers through notices from central agencies: Shiromani Akali Dal chief

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday alleged that attempts are being made to threaten farmer leaders through notices by agencies like the NIA. He also accused the Centre of being insincere in talks over the farm laws and said the government is only "trying to tire out farmers". Simultaneously, it (Centre) is intimidating farmers by issuing notices to them through various agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Farmers are not anti-nationals. We condemn this, said Badal, according to PTI.
Senior Akali leader and former state minister Bikram Singh Majithia also accused the Union government of defaming farmers by calling them naxalites and Khalistanis.
He said the SAD had always stood with farmers and quit the National Democratic Alliance when the government refused to listen to them. Badal also slammed Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, alleging that he has failed to fulfil any of his promises made to people. He asked the chief minister to tell one thing he had done for the people of the state in the past four years of his rule.

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