Farmers' protest LIVE: 'Rail Roko' across India on Feb 18, says agri union

A large number of farmers and their supporters gather during the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Shamli on Friday.
Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 77: Intensifying their agitation against the three new agricultural laws, protesting farmer unions Wednesday announced a four-hour nationwide 'rail roko' (railway blockade) on February 18. In a statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protest, also announced that toll collection will not be allowed in Rajasthan from February 12.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday declared that these farm laws are "optional and not compulsory". He asserted that the central government honours the farmers, and it is ready to accept their logical suggestions on the three contentious farm laws.

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait today said that the agitating farmers were not aiming at any change in power at the Centre but a solution to their problems as he said many of their leaders will tour different parts of the country to spread the movement.

Meanwhile, Delhi police on Tuesday arrested actor-activist Deep Sidhu over the violence at the Red Fort on Republic Day.

The protesting farmers have expressed the apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.


LIVE UPDATES

Jan 26 violence: Court asks police to upload on its website FIRs lodged at Nangloi PS

A court here has directed the Delhi police to upload on its website all the FIRs that were registered at the Nangloi police station in connection to the violence on Republic Day during farmers' tractor parade against the Centre's three new agri laws, according to PTI. Metropolitan Magistrate Abhinav Pandey said except where reasons have been communicated to the court, all the FIRs should be uploaded so that the representatives of the accused persons do not have to run from pillar to post.


The court, however, declined to supply arrest memo, remand order and remand application to the accused, saying no ground was made out to supply the documents to him at the stage of investigation and can only be supplied after cognisance of the charge sheet has been taken.


Regarding the FIRs, it said in order to plead effectively for bail before the court, the accused needs to know the substance of allegations against him, alongwith the prima facie basis for such allegations, and therefore, supply of copy of FIR to such an accused was a necessary element of natural justice and fair trial.

Farmers' agitation: Solution should be found without further delay, says JJP

The JJP, a coalition partner of the BJP in Haryana, on Wednesday asserted that a solution to the ongoing farmers' agitation will have to be found without further delay, according ti PTI. JJP leader Digvijay Singh Chautala said senior leaders of his party were in regular touch with the Centre on the issue.


Thousands of farmers are protesting at Delhi's borders since November last year against the new agri laws demanding they be repealed. The farmers who are sitting (on protest), we are really concerned for them, they are our family members, Digvijay Singh Chautala, who heads the party's student wing Indian National Students Organisation, told reporters here after launching INSO's new website and mobile app.
 

Digvijay Singh Chautala, brother of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and son of Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) chief Ajay Singh Chautala, while replying to questions on farmers' issue, said The NDA dispensation is a government of farmers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pro-farmer.

Farm laws: PM cites 'Churchill Cigar Assistant' anecdote to underline need for change

Defending the farm laws as much needed reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday underlined that change is essential and cited the case of CCA, a British era post in Tamil Nadu for supplying cigars to then UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill that was not abolished till several decades after independence. Speaking in Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to the President for his address, Modi said change and reforms are essential for the progress of every modern society.
 
He also mentioned social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Jyotiba Phule and B R Ambedkar who had the courage to push for reforms in society against the prevailing norms. Stressing that still water leads to diseases while moving water instills new energy, Modi said he opposes the mindset of "status quo" and asserted that the young generation wouldn't wait long for change.
 
"One should take responsibility and decide according to the needs of the country. This mindset of 'status quo' has also played havoc in stopping the country's progress. Till when will we continue with this status quo," Modi said.

Protesting farmers announce four-hour nationwide 'rail roko' on Feb 18

Intensifying their agitation against the three new agricultural laws, protesting farmer unions Wednesday announced a four-hour nationwide 'rail roko' (railway blockade) on February 18. In a statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protest, also announced that toll collection will not be allowed in Rajasthan from February 12.
 
"There will be a 'rail roko' across the country from 12 pm to 4 pm on February 18," the SKM said in the statement.
 
Earlier this month, they had observed a three-hour road blockade to press their demand of repealing the three laws.
 
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three laws which were enacted in September last year. The protesters have been alleging the laws will weaken the MSP mechanism and end the mandi system. But the government says the new legislations offer more options to farmers to sell their crops, and will help raise their incomes.

Toll collection won't be allowed in Rajasthan from Feb 12: Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Toll collection won't be allowed in Rajasthan from Feb 12: Samyukta Kisan Morcha statement.

Protesting farmers announce four-hour nationwide 'rail roko' on Feb 18

Intensifying their agitation against the three new agricultural laws, protesting farmer unions Wednesday announced a four-hour nationwide 'rail roko' (railway blockade) on February 18. In a statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protest, also announced that toll collection will not be allowed in Rajasthan from February 12.
 
"There will be a 'rail roko' across the country from 12 pm to 4 pm on February 18," the SKM said in the statement.
 
Earlier this month, they had observed a three-hour road blockade to press their demand of repealing the three laws.
 
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three laws which were enacted in September last year. The protesters have been alleging the laws will weaken the MSP mechanism and end the mandi system. But the government says the new legislations offer more options to farmers to sell their crops, and will help raise their incomes.

'Rail Roko' across India on Feb 18 from 12 to 4 pm: Samyukta Kisan Morcha

On February 16, the farmers will show solidarity throughout the country on the birth anniversary of Sir Chhoturam. Rail roko program will be held on February 18 from 12 to 4 pm across the country: Dr Darshan Pal, Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Grandfather of farmer who died in tractor rally moves HC for probe

The grandfather of the farmer who had died in Delhi's ITO area while participating in the tractor rally on Republic Day has moved the Delhi High Court seeking court-monitored SIT probeinto the incident, an IANS report said.
 
On January 26, Navreet Singh died after his tractor overturned after ramming into police barricades. The accident was captured on CCTV camera. Deceased's grandfather Hardeep Singh has, however, claimed that he was allegedly shot by policemen, due to which he lost control of the vehicle. The Delhi Police had released a video showing a protester speeding and running over barricades with his tractor near ITO, resulting in the vehicle overturning. A post-mortem report revealed that the protester died due to the accident.
 
The plea has sought for a court-appointed and monitored Special Investigation Team probe. It also sought the SIT file periodic status reports to ensure time-bound court-monitored investigation.

Agitating farmers not aiming change in power at Centre: Rakesh Tikait

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday asserted that the agitating farmers were not aiming at any change in power at the Centre but a solution to their problems as he said many of their leaders will tour different parts of the country to spread the movement.
 
Addressing the protesting farmers at Singhu border, Tikait said that the agitation against the farm laws will stretch till the Centre addresses their issues. "We do not aim change in power (at the Centre). The government should do its work. We want it to repeal the farm laws and ensure law on MSP," he said.
 
Tikait said that the agitation will be long drawn and continue till government starts talks with farmer leaders. READ MORE...

 

PM Modi said nothing for people who died during farmers' agitation: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Govt, Parliament have great respect for farmers; old system will continue: PM Modi

The government and Parliament have great respect for farmers who are voicing their views on the three farm bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, and made it clear that those who want to continue with the old agriculture marketing system can continue doing so.
 
Replying in Lok Sabha to the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Modi staunchly defended the three contentious farms laws and attacked the opposition for "misleading" farmers, saying those who are disrupting the House are doing so as per a "well-planned strategy" as they are unable to digest that people can see the truth.
 
"Through their games, the trust of the people can never be won," he said, amidst protests by the opposition members.
 
During his over 90-minute address, the Prime Minister slammed the Congress as "divided and confused party" for its different stands in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the debate.

Farm reforms needed, 'status quo' doesn't achieve things: PM Modi

The government respects "farmers' sentiments" but reforms in agriculture are necessary for the country’s progress, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, defending laws it enacted in September that have sparked protests by cultivators.
 
"Status quo cannot change things—the youth of the country cannot wait," he said in the Lok Sabha while replying to the motion of thanks on the President’s address to Parliament.
 
Demanding the repeal of three new farm laws that they say will hurt them to the benefit of large corporations and allow the government to discontinue buying food grains at a minimum support price (MSP), tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of Delhi since late 2020. READ ON...

New farm laws are 'optional, not compulsory': PM Modi in Parliament

Asserting that the central government honours the farmers and it is ready to accept their logical suggestions on the three contentious farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday declared that these laws are "optional and not compulsory". The Prime Minister made the announcement while speaking on the motion of thanks on the President's address in the Lok Sabha, IANS reported.
 
In the backdrop of the ongoing farmers' agitation on Delhi's borders for over two months, Modi said "rumours are being spread that these laws are against the farmers".
 
The Prime Minister said that these laws were passed in Parliament in view of reforms in the agriculture sector as it was the need of the hour. He asked "whether these three farm laws snatched the facilities of farmers which they were getting earlier?"
 
"There is no restriction on anyone. These laws do not create obstacles in the growth of farmers. These laws are optional, not compulsory. These acts neither stopped old 'Mandis' nor affected purchase of produce on Minimum Support Price (MSP)."

Govt, Parliament have great respect for farmers, says PM in Lok Sabha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the central government and the Parliament have great respect for the farmers who are voicing their views on the three farm bills and that is why top most ministers have been talking to them.
 
Replying in Lok Sabha to the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Modi again allayed apprehensions on the farm laws, saying neither any agriculture 'mandi' (market) has shut down after the three laws were enacted nor has the MSP stopped, rather the MSP has only increased which no one can deny.
 
"This House, our government and we all respect farmers who are voicing their views on the farm bills. This is the reason why topmost ministers of the government are constantly talking to them. There is great respect for farmers.
 
"After the laws relating to agriculture were passed by Parliament, no 'mandi' has shut. Likewise, MSP has remained. Procurement on MSP has remained. These facts can't be ignored," he said.

No mandis were shut, MSP did not end after farm laws: Modi

Farmers' demand not wrong, Centre should accept it: Ajit Pawar

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday said the demands raised by farmers during their ongoing protest near Delhi are not wrong or unreasonable, and asked the Centre to accept the same.
 
Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting emotional on Tuesday while recollecting his association with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Pawar told reporters here that he will feel satisfied if the same sentiments are visible in the case of farmers also.
 
Thousands of farmers have been agitating for more two months near the national capital, demanding a repeal of the Centre's three new farm laws.

Protesting farmers demanding 'minimum' support price unlike maximum by corporates: Congress

Criticising the Union Budget, the Congress in Rajya Sabha attacked the government on Wednesday for not listening to "mann ki baat" of farmers protesting at Delhi's borders, saying that their demand is MSP, which is a minimum thing that they are asking for unlike big corporates.
 
Initiating a discussion on the General Budget, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal warned that the agricultural reforms which the government is "experimenting" through the three new farm laws have already been experimented in America and Europe, which has resulted into corporatisation of farming.
 
He also said that the government, which has been saying that farmers would get more than MSP from private traders under the new laws, should not have a problem in giving a legal backing for minimum support price (MSP).

Cong will scrap farm laws if it comes to power: Priyanka Gandhi

Attacking the Centre over the new farm laws, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told a rally in western Uttar Pradesh that if voted to power her party would scrap them.
 
At a kisan panchayat organised by the party in Saharanpur, the Congress general secretary accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders of insulting farmers who are protesting against the laws.
 
"The three laws are demonic. If voted to power, the Congress will scrap these laws," he said.

Rajasthan Congress MLA reaches state assembly on tractor to support protesting farmers

Congress MLA from Bamanwas Indira Meena on Wednesday reached the Rajasthan Assembly here on a tractor on the first day of the budget session to extend her support to the farmers protesting against the new farm laws.
 
"I am in support of the farmers agitating against the farm law. I am there for them whenever they will need me," Meena told reporters outside the state Assembly.
 
"Many farmers have died during the protest. This is very unfortunate that the central government is arrogant in taking back the law," she added.

YouTube cracks down on music videos related to farmers' protest

Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday blocked a music video by famous Punjabi singer Kanwar Grewal titled 'Ailaan' that was related to the ongoing farmers' protest, raking in over 60 lakh views. YouTube has placed a notification on the original video, saying, "This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government."
 
A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement: "We comply with valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our longstanding policy and act quickly to remove identified content."
 
However, the fans of the singer posted the same video on various other channels on YouTube which can still be accessed. According to media reports, another video by artiste Himmat Sandhu titled 'Asi Vaddange' which had 1.3 crore views has also been blocked on the platform.

CPI-M MLA raises slogans in support of farmers in Rajasthan Assembly

CPI(M) MLA Balwan Poonia on Wednesday created an uproar on the issue of farmers' stir during the Governor's address on the first day of the Budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly, a PTI report said.
 
As soon as Governor Kalraj Mishra began his address, in which he highlighted the works of the state government, Poonia started shouting slogans in support of the farmers' agitation and accused the Central government of ignoring the plight of farmers.
 
He said the governor should apprise the central government of the sentiments of farmers from Rajasthan.He stormed to the well of the House and demanded withdrawal of the three farm laws enacted by the central government. Poonia also shouted 'Andolanjeevi Jindabad'.

Republic Day violence: Dead farmer's kin move HC for court monitored SIT probe

The family of a 25-year-old man, who died after his tractor overturned at Central Delhi's ITO during the protesting farmers' tractor parade on the Republic Day, moved the Delhi Court on Wednesday seeking a court-monitored SIT probe into the incident, PTI reported on Wednesday. The petition, which is likely to be listed for hearing on Thursday, is filed by deceased Navreet Singh's grandfather who has sought enforcement of his right to fair investigation and justice as well as the right to know the truth about his grandson's death.
 
According to the police, the man had died as his tractor overturned at ITO where many farmers participating in the parade had reached from the Ghazipur border after taking a detour from the pre-agreed route for the march.
 
The police had claimed that the man was driving the tractor and he came under the vehicle as it overturned.

Congress misleading farmers for political gains, says Anurag Thakur

In a scathing attack on Congress in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur said the party has been misleading the farmers for its political gains by claiming that the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) mandis will be scrapped after the implementation of newly passed farm laws.
 
Thakur's attack came after Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittoo, while delivering his speech on Motion of thanks to President's Address claimed that APMC mandis will be scrapped after the laws come into force. READ ON...

Government states that NIA did not summon farmers participating in the ongoing farmers' protest

Government states that NIA did not summon farmers participating in the ongoing farmers' protest

YouTube cracks down on music videos related to farmers' protests

Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday blocked a music video by famous Punjabi singer Kanwar Grewal titled 'Ailaan' that was related to the farmer protests and raked in over 6 million views.
 
YouTube has placed a notification on the original video, saying "This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government".
 
A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement: "We comply with valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our longstanding policy and act quickly to remove identified content".
 
However, the fans of the singer posted the same music video on various other channels on YouTube which can still be accessed. Read on...

Priyanka Gandhi set to launch Congress' 'Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan Abhiyan' in UP

All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary and in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is set to launch her party's 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Abhiyan' in UP's Saharanpur district on Wednesday, where she will also address Kisan Panchayat in Behot area.
 
Uttar Pradesh Congress has called upon this campaign to take on the BJP government on the issue of three farm laws against which the farmers are agitating for more than 70 days at different borders of the national capital. Read on...

Iqbal Singh, an accused in January 26 Delhi violence case arrested by Special Cell from Hoshiarpur

Iqbal Singh, an accused in 26th January Delhi violence case arrested by Special Cell from Hoshiarpur, Punjab last night. He carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his arrest: Delhi Police

Now, a rally of 4 million and not 400,000 tractors will be taken out, says BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

Now, a rally of 4 million and not 400,000 tractors will be taken out, says BKU leader Rakesh Tikait in an interview with India Today.

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