The farmers protesting at the borders of the national capital since more than a year have finally decided to end the protest after intense negotiations initiated by the Union Home Ministry. This comes in the wake of the Centre accepting all demands put forward by the protesting farmers.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – the umbrella body of farmers’ unions spearheading the protests – had said last evening that their 14-month agitation will be called off at 12pm on Thursday, but only after they receive the final copy of the government’s revised proposal accepting their demands.
The following were the demands :
1. Withdrawal of all the agitation-related cases registered during this protest in all states and Union territories, or under central government agencies, etc.
2. Compensation to all the families who died during the course of agitation.
3. No criminal liability to farmers in the cases of stubble burning.
4. The government has to discuss the Electricity Amendment Bill with the SKM or with other farmers’ unions before bringing it up in Parliament.
5. A committee to discuss minimum support price (MSP) is to be formed; the SKM will list out their members in the panel and provide it to the farmers.
6. The ongoing policy on MSP and its procurement in the country will continue as it is.
The farm unions have decided to call off the protests after the Centre agreed to take back all cases registered during the agitation and for stubble burning.
The government has also assured that it will table the Electricity Amendment Bill only after consultation with the SKM or relevant farmers’ unions.
Moreover, the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh state governments, along the lines of Punjab, have also agreed to provide a compensation of ₹5 lakh and a job to the kin of deceased farmers. Finally, the demand to include only SKM leaders in the MSP committee – apart from officials from the states, Centre, and agricultural experts – has also been met.