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Farmers protest enters day 3; Vegetable prices soar, Milk supply likely to be hit

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New Delhi, June 3: The 10-day nationwide farmers protest entered its third day on Sunday. The on-going agitation has disrupted the supply of vegetables, fruits and milk in many parts of the country. While clashes broke out in parts of Punjab between protesters, traders and milk sellers.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh described the ongoing protest by farmers as a sign of their desperation in the face of the wrongs being perpetrated on them by the Central government.Already reeling under high fuel prices, people suffered a further jolt as prices of vegetables shot up manifold.
The farmers’ organisations are demanding immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report on farming, giving minimum support price to farmers for their produce, waiving loans and helping them make agriculture cost effective.

The strike, declared by the All India Kisan Mahasangh, is being staged in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh among other states.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Saturday said that production and productivity in agricultural sector have increased during the four years of NDA rule at the Centre, compared to the UPA regime. The Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister also said that the NDA government has also given push to policy reforms in the sector.

Singh has stated that some farmers have been staging protests just for the sake of media attention.

Singh said “There are crores of farmers in the country but only a few farmers have been staging protest. It has no relevance at all.”
Singh’s controversial remarks came in response to a question on the protests by thousands of farmers in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere over low support price for their products, among others.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday threw his weight behind the farmers protesting countrywide ahead of the first anniversary of the deaths of seven peasants during police firing in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur on June 6 last year.

“Everyday, about 35 farmers commit suicide in our country. To attract government’s attention towards the agrarian crisis, farmers are forced to protest for 10 days.”

Two debt-ridden farmers allegedly ended their lives in Madhya Pradesh since 1 June, police said on Saturday. According to reports, sixty-year-old Gordhan Ahirwar’s body was found floating in a well in Sujalpur tehsil of Shajapur district on Friday night. His son Sitaram said he had borrowed Rs 2 lakh, and was worried about repaying it.

Sohanlal Ahirwar (48) died at Simriya Krishi Upaj Mandi in Seoni district on Friday. His brother Munnalal blamed mismanagement at the mandi for the death.

 

India

2 terrorists killed in Kashmir encounter

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Jammu and Kashmir Shopian Indian Army

Security forces and terrorists have engaged in a massive encounter in Sirhama in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. As per preliminary reports, heavy exchange of fire has been reported from the area where the encounter broke out last night.

The Kashmir Zone Police has said that two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists have been killed in the encounter.

“Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, have been recovered. A search operation is currently underway,” the police said.

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Cutting across party lines, farmers protest in Punjab, Haryana

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Heavy police force has been deployed in both the states to deal with any untoward situation.

Even shopkeepers in most of the major towns in both the states shut their shops expressing solidarity with the farmers.

In a first-of-its-kind show of solidarity, 31 farmer organisations in Punjab announced a joint protest.

Several trains have been suspended since Thursday as farmers began a three-day ‘rail roko’ campaign against the Bills.

The Ferozepur Railway division decided to suspend operation of special trains till September 26 in view of the safety of passengers, a rail official told IANS.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has appealed to all political parties to rise above “petty considerations” and come on one platform to fight unitedly against the “treacherous” Bills that would destroy the state’s farmers.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union Government has stooped to a new low by bringing these Bills, and that too in a totally undemocratic and unparliamentary manner,” said Amarinder Singh, adding that his government, supported by the Congress state unit, will oppose the Legislations tooth and nail in the interest of not just the farmers and the state but the entire country.

He has appealed to the farmers to strictly maintain law and order, and adhere to all Covid-19 safety protocols.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP-led NDA government, announced a statewide ‘chakka jam’ to mark their protest.

The SAD has been a longstanding ally of the ruling BJP. SAD’s Lok Sabha MP and Sukhbir Badal’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal had resigned from the Union Cabinet on September 17, citing her party’s opposition to the three Bills.

Interestingly, many Punjabi singers have extended their support to the ‘bandh’ call given by farmers.
Popular Punjabi singer and actor Harbhajan Mann in a tweet said he along with several other artists would be participating in the protest.

In Haryana, activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union activists along with sacked physical training instructors showed black flags to Agriculture Minister J.P. Dalal on Thursday in Mudlana village in Sonepat district.

Terming the Farm Bills as a ‘revolutionary step’, Haryana BJP state chief O.P. Dhankar said these would open up multiple options for farmers to sell their produce.

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Delhi Police tightens security amid farmers’ protest

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Delhi-Ghaziabad border

New Delhi: The Delhi Police have tightened the security at the border areas in the wake of the Bharat Bandh called by over two dozen farmer organisations on Friday.

Barricades have been put in areas bordering Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and the vehicles entering Delhi are being checked. The Delhi Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed at the Singhu border and Karnal road (Haryana) as a precautionary measure.

“Our teams are alert and vigilant at the border areas and the staff has been deployed at strategic locations in the wake of farmers’ protest” said a senior police officer.

Deployment has also been made in Ghazipur, New Ashok Nagar, Seemapuri, Anand Vihar in East Delhi and Kalindi Kunj in South east Delhi in view of the farmers’ protest.

Apart from border areas, the Delhi Police is also vigilant for the possible snap protests in Delhi. The Delhi Police earlier said that no demonstrations would be allowed in the national capital till September 30, citing an earlier order of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

Over two dozen farmer organisations have announced support for the ‘Bandh call’ on Friday to protest against the Farm Bills passed by Parliament amid protests by 18 political parties. The 31 farmer organisations in Punjab and Haryana are already protesting.

All India Farmers Union (AIFU), Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), All India Kisan Mahasangh (AIKM), and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) and other politically-backed organisations have urged farmers to hold rallies, blockades in various parts of the country to protest against the three Farm bills which were passed by the government during the Parliament session that concluded earlier this week.

–IANS

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