No record of farmers' deaths during protests at Delhi borders: Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

The government has no record of farmers who have died during the agitation at Delhi's borders against three new farm laws since 2020, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Parliament on Friday.

Tomar also said the government has not undertaken any study to ascertain the apprehensions in the minds of farmers about the three farm laws.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi's borders since eight months in protest against the three laws. Out of them, a small group of 200 farmers are now staging a protest at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi after getting special permission.

Asked if the government was aware of the total number of farmers who have died during farm protest since 2020, Tomar said: "The Government of India has no such record."

However, the Central government during discussions with farmers' unions had appealed to them that children and elders, especially women, should be allowed to go home in view of the cold prevailing at that time and the COVID-19 situation, he said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

Further, in a separate reply, Tomar said, "No study has been undertaken to ascertain the reasons for apprehensions created in the mind of farmers on account of these farm laws."

However, the Centre has proactively undertaken efforts to reach out the farmers to remove their apprehensions, he added.

Asserting that the government is serious and sensitive towards farmers issues, the minister said the Centre has been engaged in active discussions with the farmers' unions.

So far, 11 rounds of negotiations have been held between the government and agitating farmers' unions to resolve the issues, he added.

In all the rounds of discussions, the government has stressed that instead of insisting on repealing the laws, the farmer unions should discuss about their concerns on specific clauses so that their issues can be resolved, he added.

"During various rounds of discussions, the government continuously requested the farmers unions to discuss the provisions of the farm laws, so that if there is an objection to any provision, the advancement can be made towards resolution of those. But the farmers' unions insisted only on the repeal of the farm laws," he said.

The last round of talks between the government and unions was held on January 22. Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.

The Supreme Court has put on hold the implementation of the three laws till further orders and set up a committee to find solutions. The committee has already submitted its report.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel