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Incidents against Africans not racial: Sushma

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The government on Thursday said the recent incidents of violence against Africans in the country were not racial in nature and that it is taking steps to ensure the safety of African students in India.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, also said there should not be any racial discrimination in India.

“There should not be any racial discrimination in India,” Sushma Swaraj said.

Speaking on the killing of Congolese national Masonda Ketada Olivier in Vasant Kunj of Delhi in May, the minister said: “The Congolese national was not killed due to racism. CCTV footage is a proof that he was being beaten by some anti-social elements and the people around were trying to save him.”

“Those who were beating him, also hit those who were trying to save Olivier,” she said.

Referring to the assault of 23-year-old Nigerian student Kazeem in Hyderabad in May, the minister said: “Second incident was with a Nigerian national in a parking lot. I want to assure the House the incidents with African nationals in the last few days, none of them was a racial incident.”

According to reports, the Nigerian student was beaten up over a dispute on parking.

On measures to check violence against African students, the minister said the government is trying that students get colleges with hostel accommodation within the campus as one of the measures to ensure that such incidents do not happen in future.

“We want to take steps and ensure these incidents are not repeated,” she added.

Shushma Swaraj also said the Heads of Missions from African countries had initially asked the government to postpone the Africa Day function following a string of assault incidents, but the minister, and her junior minister V.K. Singh assured them that speedy action will be taken against the culprits.

Asked about retaliation in African countries against Indians, Sushma Swaraj said the incidents had only taken place in Congo’s capital Kinshasa where there was stone pelting on some Indian owned shops.

“I want to tell them (members) our embassy raised the issue with their foreign ministry and we asked them to give police protection to our citizens,” said Sushma Swaraj.

She added that the engagement with African countries under the Narendra Modi led government has been unprecedented.

“Under this government engagement with Africa has increased,” she said.

IANS

India

Students join farmers’ protest against farm laws at Singhu, Tikri borders

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Farmers and Students

New Delhi: Students from various universities in Delhi on Decmeber 1 joined the farmers protesting at Singhu and Tikri borders and expressed solidarity with them in their fight against the Centre’s new farm laws.

The protesters part of a student outfit, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), demanded that three farm legislations should be revoked unconditionally and the BJP government at the Centre should apologise to the people for introducing such “anti-people laws”.

“We have launched agitations in different states in solidarity with the on-going movement and to bring to the fore the issues being faced especially by the most exploited section — agricultural workers in the farming sector.

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After Singhu and Tikri borders, Chilla border closed as well

While the Tikri border, Jharoda Border, Jhatikra Border are closed for any traffic movement, the Badusarai Border is open only for two wheeler traffic.

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Delhi Chilla Border

New Delhi, Dec 1: The Delhi Police on Tuesday closed the Chilla border connecting Delhi to the UP link road towards Noida due to the farmers’ protest.

The Singhu and Tikri borders are already closed by Delhi Traffic police for any vehicular movement which has caused traffic diversions at various points in the national capital region as the farmers agitation entered its sixth day.

The Delhi Traffic Police after closing the Chilla border advised motorists to take alternative routes towards Noida after taking a U-turn from under the Ghazipur, Akshardham flyover and also from Sarai Kale Khan.

While the Tikri border, Jharoda Border, Jhatikra Border are closed for any traffic movement, the Badusarai Border is open only for two wheeler traffic.

“Available Open Borders to Haryana are Dhansa, Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH-8,Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera,” said a senior Traffic police officer.

“Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternative route.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk and GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from Signature Bridge to Rohini and vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 and Singhu border,” the Delhi Traffic Police Twitter handle tweeted.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday headed the government side in the much-awaited talks with over 30 farmer unions on the sixth day of the ongoing farmers’ protest.

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Farmers-govt dialogue inconclusive, 4th round of talks on Thursday

‘Bullets or peaceful solution’: Farmers’ union member after discussion with government

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Farmers Union

New Delhi, Dec 1: The government’s proposal to form a committee to study the three contentious farms laws was rejected by farmer unions during the ongoing talks called by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday to resolve the issues raised by agitating farmers.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Roop Singh Sanna told IANS that the government proposed to form a committee to study and discuss issues related to the three farm laws enacted in September during Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The farmers’ leader, while sharing inputs received from its union members attending the farmers-ministers ongoing meeting at Vigyan Bhawan, said the government offered to select four-five members from farmers association to form the committee in which there will be some government members.

He said that all the “union leaders unanimously rejected” the government’s offer.

“Forming a committee is an attempt to postpone the issue. We are not ready to accept government’s offer,” said Sanna.

The government is holding on to its stance of not rolling back the three farm laws which farmers allege are “anti-farm” and “black laws”: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The information comes from the meeting led by Agriculture Minister Tomar and Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, in presence of more than 32 farmer union leaders on the sixth day of the ongoing farmers’ protest. The meeting started at Vigyan Bhawan around 3.30 p.m.

The meeting is also being attended by Union Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash and Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal.

The meeting between the government and farmers comes after late Monday night invitation sent by Agriculture Minister to them following their ongoing protest started from November 26.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting at Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Currently, these farmers have been protesting at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders.

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