LIVE updates: Punjab farmer attempts suicide near Singhu border; admitted

Farmers light candles to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the agitation, at Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday | PHOTO: PTI
Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 26: Farmer unions observed a day-long relay hunger strike on Monday at all protest sites to press for the repeal of the Centre's new agri laws, even as the government has asked them to choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest.

A 65-year-old Punjab farmer protesting against the Centre's agriculture laws attempted suicide today by taking some poisonous substance near the Delhi's Singhu border.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, UP and some other states are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate players.

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Faridkot farmer cycles 400 km to reach Tikri border with poem of 'Pash'

Armed with hope and a revolutionary poem by noted Punjabi poet 'Pash', a farmer cycled nearly 400 km from Fardikot to the Tikri border here to join the massive protest by peasants against the new farm laws.
 
Wearing a kurta-pyjama with a sleeveless warm jacket and sporting a bright green turban, Pal Sandhu, a resident of Rameana village in Faridkot district of Punjab, on Monday listened intently to the speeches made by farmer leaders at the protest site near the Delhi-Haryana border.
 
His cycle, a new model decked up with cardboards displaying the poem 'Sab Ton Khatarnak' (the most dangerous ) in Punjabi by Avtar Singh Sandhu or 'Pash' as the revolutionary was famously known, attracted the attention of protesters and passers-by, many of whom took pictures with him.
 
"I felt restless back home," the 45-year-old said.
 
"I could not control myself after knowing about the condition of my fellow farmers who are braving the chilling winter and so many difficulties for a common goal. My brother had come a few days ago in a tractor-trolley, which is parked at the Tikri border protest site. I decided to leave too and rode till here on a bicycle," Sandhu told PTI.
 
The Faridkot farmer said he had started from his home on December 19 at 8 AM and rode till 6:30 PM that day before resting.
 
"The next day, I started early at 6 AM from mid-way, and then reached Tikri Border protest site at around 6:30 PM yesterday. When one is pumped up with a spirit of shared struggle, tiredness doesn't come. We are farmers, hardship is our life," he said.

Asked how he managed to get food for two days to sustain his long journey, Sandhu, who has a wife and son back home, said, "sab Guru ki kripa se ho gaya (it was managed with the blessings of the Guru)".
 
"On the way, people saw the Bharat Kisan Union flag planted on my cycle and they gave me food and hot water. Many more people are travelling every day to join the protests at Tikri and Singhu borders. There is a feeling of solidarity among people right now," he said.
 
Reading aloud the revolutionary poem by 'Pash' to those gathered around him, he explained why he chose to carry placards with its verses written on them.
 
"Pash was a visionary and raised his voice against oppression and injustice. Today, if we sit at home and not become part of this movement, then we are 'living dead'... as the poet had said, 'murda shanti se bhar jana'. We are all here, because we farmers don't want our dreams to become nightmares".
 
'Sab Ton Khatarnak', one of the most iconic works of contemporary poetry with trenchant words, has become a slogan of resistance at many protests. Poems by 'Pash' are often carried on placards and banners in protest rallies across the country.

Farmers from Maharashtra leave for Delhi to join protests

Thousands of farmers from Maharashtra on Monday left for Delhi from Nashik to join the ongoing agitation by cultivators seeking the repeal of three agri laws passed by the Centre.
 
The farmers, who started off in private vehicles, were led by leaders of the Kisan Sabha.
 
Before proceeding to Delhi in afternoon, the farmers burnt effigies of Central leaders.
 
A Kisan Sabha leader said farmers from 21 districts in Maharashtra are on their way to Delhi.
 
He said agriculturists from Maharashtra have been demanding waiving of 'inflated' power bills and implementation of the recommendations of the M S Swaminathan Commiittee.
 
Their other demands include an aid of Rs 50,000 per acre to those farmers whose crops were damaged due to unseasonal rains.
 
Addressing the gathering of farmers, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha leaders Ashok Dhawale and Ajit Navale criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) over the agri laws.
 
They alleged that the new farm laws were enacted with the sole purpose of benefiting select corporates at the cost of farmers.
 

Centre neglected our interests: Farmers

Farmers protesting against agriculture laws on Jaipur-Delhi highway in Alwar's Shahjahapur on Monday accused the Centre of not looking into their demands despite a threat to their livelihood. The livelihood of farmers is at stake but the government is paying no heed to their demands, they told reporters.


Farmer leader Balvinder Singh from Kota said they feed crores of people but their interests have been neglected by the Centre. Singh said the Centre should withdraw the farm laws and threatened to intensify the agitation if their demand was not met. Due to the agitation, the Jaipur-Delhi highway is partially blocked since the past nine days.

'Sanyukt Kisan Morcha' appeals to Bihar farmers to join agitation against agri laws

Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint forum of farmers' organisations, protesting at the Delhi borders against the Centre's farm laws on Monday appealed to the farmers in Bihar to join the agitation to get the benefit of minimum support price (MSP) for their produce. At a press conference, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said the three farm laws were brought to benefit the capitalists and reiterated the demand to withdraw them and provide legal guarantee for MSP of 23 crops.


The "maximum impact" of disintegration of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) has been seen in Bihar. The farmers in Bihar have been forced to the verge of misery and to seek employment in other states since they do not get the MSP for their crops, a statement said. "Due to non implementation of MSP, the farmers and workers in Bihar have been completely devastated. A movement is currently underway for implementation of MSP in Bihar and the entire country. The farmers and workers in Bihar should actively join it," Chaduni said in the statement.


All the farmers bodies in the country are fighting the joint battle on behalf of the farmers in the country under the banner of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha. The farmers are agitating under the open sky and biting cold since November 27 at Delhi borders, it said. "We request Bihar farmers that if MSP is guaranteed by law, the paddy will be purchased at Rs 1,888 per quintal and maize at Rs 1,850 per quintal instead of Rs 1,000 and Rs 800 per quintal respectively.


"Prices of other crops will also increase and condition of farmers will change. It is therefore highly required that farmers from Bihar join this movement to save the farmers and people from this loot," said the statement.

Centre trying to tire out farmers: Sukhbir Singh Badal

The Centre is trying to tire out farmers by starting talks from the very beginning again. This is a futile exercise when farmer organisations have already rejected three agriculture laws and want them repealed: SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal

Arhtiyas in Punjab to keep shops shut from Tuesday in protest against tax raids

Arhtiyas in Punjab will keep their shops shut for four days from Tuesday in protest against income tax raids allegedly conducted to intimidate them for supporting farmers’ stir against Centre’s agriculture laws: Federation of Arhtiyas, according to PTI

Welfare of farmers, agriculture industry at core of govt initiatives: Prakash Javadekar

Amid the ongoing farmers' protests, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that the welfare of farmers and the agriculture industry is at the core of all Centre's initiatives and that the Narendra Modi government is doing its best to bring about emerging technologies in the field of agriculture.
 
Talking about the government's initiatives in the National e-Governance Project for Agriculture (NeGPA), Javadekar said the welfare of farmers and the agriculture industry is at the core of all Centre's initiatives.
 
"Modi Government is doing its best to bring about emerging technologies in agriculture by upgrading the National e-Governance Project for Agriculture (NeGPA).The welfare of farmers and the agriculture industry is at the core of all these initiatives by the govt," Prakash Javadekar tweeted. READ MORE...

 

Punjab farmer attempts suicide near Singhu border, admitted to Rohtak's PGIMS

A 65-year-old Punjab farmer protesting against the Centre's agriculture laws attempted suicide by taking some poisonous substance near the Delhi's Singhu border on Monday, a police official said. Niranjan Singh, who hails from Punjab's Tarn Taran, was admitted to the Rohtak's PGIMS and his condition is stated to be stable, according to a PTI report.
 
Before the suicide bid, the farmer left a note behind, which is being verified by police. We are in the process of recording his statement, the official said when asked about the reason behind the suicide attempt.
 
The incident comes close on the heels of a Sikh preacher, Sant Ram Singh, allegedly committing suicide near the Singhu border last week as he was unable to bear the pain of the farmers. On Saturday, a 22-year-old farmer had allegedly committed suicide in Punjab's Bathinda after returning from a protest site near the Delhi border.

Social media crucial for our agitation: Farmers on Facebook shutting down protest page

A day after Facebook temporarily shut down a page on the ongoing farmers agitation against the Centre's new farm laws, the protestors on Monday said social media was crucial for their movement as it allowed them to tell the truth in their our own words. The social media giant had Sunday evening shut down the page of Kisan Ekta Morcha' that shares official updates on the agitation, only to restore it three hours later following social media outrage.
 
The Kisan Ekta Morcha's Instagram page was also temporarily suspended.
 
Social media plays an important role in our movement. While all kinds of media are writing about us, social media helps us tell our truth in our own words. The godi' media will never show the reality, but on social media, we can share what is actually happening, Himmat Singh, a farmer camping at Singhu border, said.

Members of farmer's union in Nashik move towards Delhi to support farmers' protest

Another Punjab farmer tries to commit suicide at Singhu border

A 65-year-old farmer from Punjab tried to commit suicide by consuming poison at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border in protest against the Centre's farm laws, IANS reported. The victim, Niranjan Singh from Tarn Taran, was admitted to the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences or PGIMS in Rohtak, where his condition is out of danger.
 
Earlier, Sikh priest Baba Ram Singh committed suicide at Singhu border on December 16 by shooting himself.
 
He belonged to Nanaksar Gurdwara in Singhra village in Haryana's Karnal district. The 65-year-old 'sant' left a suicide note which states that he couldn't see the ordeal of farmers who are protesting against the farm laws.

Several protesting farmers queue up at Singhu border to register for blood donation camp

Several protesting farmers queued up here at the Singhu border on Monday to register their names for a blood donation camp set up by a Ludhiana-based NGO. More than 240 protesting farmers have so far donated blood at the camp, which began on Sunday and has been set up by Rehras Sewa Society. A four-member team of the NGO, along with nine members of the blood bank, started their camp here at the Singhu border on Sunday around 10.30 am and by 5 pm, 190 farmers had donated blood.
 
Sukhminder Singh, president of Rehras Sewa Society, said, "On the first day of our camp, we got a very good response from people here. Around 190 people donated blood, which was overwhelming. So, we decided to extend our camp."
 
When asked what promoted them to start the camp, Singh said Ludhiana has over 18 blood banks but ever since lockdown was implemented, no blood donation camps could be organised. Citing acute shortage of blood in many banks, he said people from across Punjab come to Ludhiana to avail medical facilities.

West Bengal CM requests Agriculture Minister to transfer funds under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme

Nothing new in govt's letter, always ready for talks but Centre must offer 'concrete solution': Farmer leaders

Farmer leaders on Monday said they are always ready for dialogue as long as the government is offering a "concrete solution", but claimed that there is nothing new in the Centre's latest letter to them seeking a date for the next round of talks. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said that the government, in its letter, mentioned that it wants to hold talks over its earlier proposal of amendments in the new agri laws.
 
"On this issue (government's proposal), we did not talk to them earlier. We are currently discussing how to respond to the government letter," Tikait told PTI.
 
The sixth round of talks on December 9 was cancelled. In the letter to 40 union leaders, the Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal on Sunday asked them to specify their concerns over its earlier proposal of amendments in the laws and choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest.

Farmers' Protest LIVE: Agitating farmers at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP) border block road

Youth Cong protests outside Krishi Bhawan, demands justice for farmers

Congress' youth outfit IYC on Monday demonstrated against the Centre's agri laws at the Krishi Bhawan here and demanded justice for the farmers who have died during the over three week long stir at Delhi borders. The farmers have gathered at all the borders of Delhi in the biting cold and are demanding that the government repeal the "black laws", said Srinivas B V, president of Indian Youth Congress (IYC).
 
"In the last 25 days, more than 25 farmers have been martyred in this movement. The government should not underestimate the strength of farmers," he said.
 
Some of the protesters who tried to get past a police barricade near Krishi Bhawan, were detained and taken to Mandir Marg Police Station, said Rahul Rao, national media incharge of IYC. 

Protesting farmer leaders to meet those farmers supporting agri laws: Bhartiya Kisan Union

Farmer union leaders will meet those farmers who are supporting Centre on the three farm laws and will take information from them about the benefits they will get from the laws, said Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bhartiya Kisan Union on Monday.
 
"We will go and meet those farmers' groups who are supporting the Centre on three Farm laws," said Tikait. "We will take information from them about how they are benefitting from Farm laws and will learn the technology, which they are using to sell their crops," he added.
 
Meanwhile, farmers have decided to sit on a relay hunger strike from today. "Everyday eleven farmers will sit on hunger strike for 24 hours," said Balwant Singh, Secretary, BKU Punjab. "List of names have been prepared for the relay hunger strike," he added.

Group of farmers sit on relay fast against farm laws in UP

A group of 11 farmers here sat on an indefinite relay fast against the three agri laws in Bindki area, police said on Monday. The farmers, led by District Panchayat member Bablu Kalia, sat on the relay fast from Sunday at Ambedkar party, Station House Officer Bindki Satyendra Singh said.
 
Bablu said that the new farm laws are "death warrant" for the farmers and they will protest it till they are withdrawn. The SHO said that on Sunday they left after giving memorandum to the district administration but on Monday they again came and are sitting on the fast.

BJD backs farmers MSP demand;says will not allow anybody tarnish Patnaik's clean image

Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal supported farmers demand for Minimum Support Price and resolved to fight for implementation of M S Swaminathan Committee report on the issue. The party stated that inclusive development of the farmers has always been a key focus of the BJD government in the state.
 
"Our party is with the farmers on MSP issues and we will continue our fight for the same as per the Swaminathan Committee recommendations," the party said in one of the resolutions passed at its state executive commnittee meeting that ended last evening.
 
The Odisha cabinet had at a recent meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved a proposal to demand the Centre to implement Swaminathan committee recommendations on MSP. The Naveen Patnaik-led party has opposed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and the Farm Services Act, in Parliament.
 

Will meet those farmers' groups who're supporting farm laws: Bhartiya Kisan Union

Qawwals, other artistes voice support to protesting farmers

With the protest by farmers on the Delhi borders continuing for nearly a month now, more and more artistes are coming out in their support. Well-known qawwali singers Sabri Sufi Brothers and other artistes visited the Singhu entry point and voiced their support to the farmers.
 
The Sabri Sufi Brothers reached the Singhu border on Sunday and also distributed food items and blankets to the farmers protesting in the bone-chilling cold. They were accompanied by singer Pinky Paras, artistes Kamsar Hayat Nizami and Naushad Baba from Ajmer Sharif dargah at Sarwar in Rajasthan.
 
"We have come to the Singhu border to extend our support to the protesting farmers. The farmers are camping on the roads in such shivering cold. We have distributed 1,500 blankets to the farmers as well as 1,500 packets of food items," a statement on behalf of the Sabri Sufi Brothers IANS said.

Special Kerala Assembly session on Dec 23 to discuss farm laws

The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala on Monday decided to convene a special session of the state assembly on December 23 to discuss the three contentious farm laws enacted by the Centre recently. The decision in this regard was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan this morning.
 
The cabinet also decided to recommend to the Governor to convene the special session, CMO sources told P T I.
 
Finance Minister Thomas Isaac in a tweet said: "Kerala cabinet decided to convene a special session of the legislative assembly on 23rd December before the scheduled session to discuss and reject the controversial farm laws. Kerala in total solidarity with the farmers struggle."

Farmers' protest: Farmer dies due to cold in UP's Banda district

A 62-year-old farmer allegedly died due to cold in Uttar Pradesh's Pachnehi village and according to his son, he was rushed to a hospital after he fainted while working in a field, police said on Monday.
 
Ram Kishore was on Sunday taken to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead, they said.
 
"Prima facie it appears that he died due to cold. The body has been sent for postmortem to ascertain the exact cause of death," District Hospital Emergency Service Officer Dr Abhishek said.

Welfare of farmers, agriculture industry at core of govt initiatives, says Prakash Javadekar

Amid the ongoing farmers' protests, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that the welfare of farmers and the agriculture industry is at the core of all Centre's initiatives and that the Narendra Modi government is doing its best to bring about emerging technologies in the field of agriculture.
 
Talking about the government's initiatives in the National e-Governance Project for Agriculture (NeGPA), Javadekar said the welfare of farmers and the agriculture industry is at the core of all Centre's initiatives.
 
"Modi Government is doing its best to bring about emerging technologies in agriculture by upgrading the National e-Governance Project for Agriculture (NeGPA).The welfare of farmers and the agriculture industry is at the core of all these initiatives by the govt," Prakash Javadekar tweeted.

Farmers start day-long 'relay' hunger strike to protest against agri laws

Intensifying their agitation against the Centre's new agri laws, farmers began their day-long 'relay' hunger strike on a chilly Monday morning at all sites of protest on Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
 
Protesting farmers will participate in the hunger strike in batches and the first has 11 members, according to farmer leaders. Read on...

Kerala to pass resolution against farm laws on Wednesday

Kerala to pass resolution against farm laws at special Assembly session on December 23.

Govt invites protesting farmers' unions for next round of talks

Govt writes to protesting farmers' unions inviting them for next round of talks, asks them to choose date.

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