It has been five days since thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and other states started a protest march against three controversial farm laws which received the President's nod in the Monsoon session of Parliament. Yesterday, farmers rejected Home Minster Amit Shah's conditional offer to hold talks if they move to Burari ground. "As soon as you reach the ground in Burari, the government will call you for talks the next day," Shah told farmers.
However, farmers said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and threatened to block all five entry points to the national capital. Farmers, who had reached Nirankarai Samagam Ground in Burari on Saturday, continued their protest there. A meeting of the protesting farmers' unions with the Centre has already been scheduled for December 3.
Here are key points about farmers protest in Delhi:
1. Traffic disruption in Delhi
The Delhi Traffic Police has alerted commuters to take an alternate route since Singhu and Tikri borders continued to remain closed.
"Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternate route.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road.Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from signature bridge to Rohini & vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 & Singhu borders," it tweeted.
Also read: Infographic: Farm Bills - The Hot Potato
In another tweet, it said, "Tikri border is closed for any Traffic Movement. Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala Jhatikera, Badusari, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8,Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders."
Traffic Alert— Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) November 30, 2020
Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternate route.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road.Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from signature bridge to Rohini & Vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 & Singhu borders
Traffic Alert,— Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) November 30, 2020
Tikri border is closed for any Traffic Movement.
Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders Jharoda,Dhansa ,Daurala Jhatikera,Badusari,Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8,Bijwasan/Bajghera,Palam vihar and Dundahera borders
2. Security beefed up at borders in view of farmers' protest:
Security has tightened and barricading is being done at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (Delhi-UP) border, as well as, Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana border) where farmers have gathered against the central government's farm laws, according to news agency ANI.
Delhi: Farmers continue their protest against the farm laws, at Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari, the govt designated place for the protest. pic.twitter.com/bkceHtb6kU— ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2020
Delhi: Security tightened & barricading being done at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (Delhi-UP) border where farmers have gathered in protest against Farm laws. pic.twitter.com/S5TNVFVqxf— ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2020
Surendra Yadav, Joint CP, Northern Range, said the situation is peaceful and under control. He added, "Our objective is to maintain law & order. We have deployed enough force".
Delhi: Farmers continue their protest at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (Delhi-UP) border against the farm laws amid security deployment. pic.twitter.com/MhuDgiOhhQ— ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2020
3. Delhi government makes food arrangements for farmers
Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLA, Mohinder Goyal from Rthala announced on Twitter that the Delhi government has opened a kitchen to serve food to the farmers.
Additionally, several prominent AAP MLAs like, Raghav Chadha, Atishi, and CM Arvind Kejriwal have organised a Twitter campaign against the Centre and asked to immediately and unconditionally hold talks with the farmers.
आज देश का किसान काले कानून के खिलाफ अपने घरों को छोड़ कर दिल्ली कूच कर रहा हैं।— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) November 29, 2020
देश का गृहमंत्री किसानों के सामने शर्त रख रहा है कि उस मैदान में जाकर बैठों तब बात करेंगे और वो खुद हैदराबाद में निगम चुनाव प्रचार करने चले जाते हैं।- @AtishiAAP#WhereIsAmitShahpic.twitter.com/QXYoCXfPPi
4. Bharatiya Janata party on farmers' protest
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar held deliberations over the farmers' protest with BJP president J P Nadda on Sunday evening.
Besides, several union cabinet ministers have requested farmers to call off their strike and come for discussion in the past few days.
The Centre reassured that existing support measures like the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and state-run 'mandis' will remain in place.
Additionally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly "Mann Ki Baat" broadcast said, "The demands, which were made by farmers for years and regarding which every political party at some point of time had made promises, have been fulfilled...These reforms have not only freed them of various shackles but also given them new rights and new opportunities. These rights have begun mitigating farmers' problems in a very short span of time".
5. Why are farmers protesting?
In September, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to three contentious farm bills amid the protests by farmers across India. The three farm bills that have now become an Act include The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Farmers want the union government to either withdraw the three legislation on farm laws or guarantee them the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops by introducing a new law.
According to the farmers, the AMPC mandis or Agricultural Produce Market Committee play a crucial role in ensuring timely payments to them. Farmers believe the new law will dismantle the mandi system and m bring an end to the assured procurement of their crops at MSP.