Farmer Protest 2024

Everything About Farmer Protest 2024

Starting on 13th Feb, a farmer protest of 2020-21 took a revival in 2024 with the slogan of “Delhi Chalo”. Thousands of farmers on tractors and trucks are once again coming towards the Indian capital, New Delhi. The situation has, with police using tear gas in Haryana state to prevent farmers from reaching the fortified capital. 

Entry points to Delhi have been sealed with barriers of barbed wire, spikes, and cement blocks, creating an atmosphere that reminds us of the 16-month-long protest two years ago. Not just Delhi borders but, Punjab and Haryana borders also stand blocked with cement slabs and multi-concrete walls. 

Who is Participating in Farmer Protest?

Led by Jagjit Singh Dallewal of BKU and Sarvan Singh Pandhen of Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, thousands of farmers started the protest on 13th February. This time, the protest has a broader footprint, with unions from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh joining forces with those from Punjab and Haryana. 

Headed by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, more than 200 farm unions are participating in the march to Delhi. These groups played an important role in the 2020-2021 protests that compelled Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal three controversial farm laws.

Why are Farmers Protesting Now? 

The demands of the protesting farmers remain consistent with their previous struggles. They are seeking legal guarantees of a minimum support price (MSP), waivers of farm loans, and a rollback of policies perceived as detrimental to farmers. The MSP, crucial for the farming community’s financial stability, is demanded to be fixed at least 50 percent higher than the cost of production.

The demands of Farmers Protest 2024 are as follows:- 

  •  Minimum Support Price (MSP)
  • Implementation of Swaminathan Commissuiob’s Formula
  •  Full debt waiver for farmers 
  • Pension for farmers and laborers
  • Withdrawal of cases against farmers during the 2020-21 protest 
  • High import duties on agricultural commodities and milk 
  • Withdraw from the World Trade Organization and impose a ban on all free trade agreements
  • And all the demands of farmers protest of 2020-21

Farmers are also resisting the privatization of the electricity sector, demanding compensation for those who lost their lives during the previous protests, and calling for the dismissal of a federal minister whose son was accused of running over farmers in Uttar Pradesh in 2021. Additionally, they want assurances that promises made by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2021 are implemented.

Is All Farmers in Protest are Khalistani?

A video of some people holding the flag of Khalistan, tying the Indian tricolor to a ball, and playing football, disrespecting the Indian flag is being shared on social media. Claiming them to be the farmers from the ongoing farmer’s protest in Delhi.

The viral social media video has been circulating since July 2023. These posts indicated that this situation took place in Canada. Upon carefully examining these videos, it has been observed that the word ‘CANADA’ was written in English on the bus in the background, along with the people holding Khalistani Flags.

Research based on this data led to the news reposts published by Canadian and Indian media. As per these reports, a Khalistani terrorist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in June 2023 was killed in Surrey City, Canada. Reacting to this, Khalistani supporters protested outside the Indian consulate, alleging the Indian envoys’ involvement in his murder while also disrespecting the Indian flag.

It is clear from the investigation that the viral post arose from the protest staged by Khalistani outside the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on 8th July 2023. This incident is not related to the ongoing farmer protest in Delhi, India. To sum up, the people showing disrespect to the Indian Flag are not farmers but Khalistanis from Canada. 

The Farmer Protest of 2020-21

The earlier protests centered around laws facilitating direct sales to bulk buyers and easing contract farming, which farmers considered unfavorable. Following massive demonstrations, led by Rakesh Tikait and Gurnam Singh Charuni, the BJP government withdrew the three farm laws in 2021. However, promises made regarding setting up a panel to ensure support prices for all farm produce have yet to materialize, contributing to the renewed unrest

Government’s Measures and Response

This time the government started the negotiation before the “Delhi Chalo” march started. A team of union ministers was formed that included the Food and Consumer affairs minister and the Agricultural minister. 

The first meeting between the union ministers and the farmer leaders was held on 8th February and later it was held on 12th February in Chandigarh. Despite negotiations between the government delegation and protesting farmers, a resolution has not been reached. Police actions, including tear-gassing and detentions, have further strained the situation. The farmers find themselves cut off from the capital, questioning the government’s commitment to addressing their concerns.

Steps to Stop Farmer Protest

  1. Section 144 imposed in Delhi 
  2. Haryana-Punjab Borders sealed
  3. Wires, Barricades, and nails put 
  4. Haryana police fire tear gas at Shambhu border

‘Delhi Chalo’ March On Hold Till Friday

The situation became tense at the Khanauri and Shambhu border points this morning after Haryana Police fired tear gas shells to disassemble protesting farmers who attempted to displace barricades. However, Sarwan Singh Pandher, General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor, announced in the evening that the farmer’s protest was suspended for the next 2 days. However, the future course of action will be decided on 23rd February. 

The “Delhi Chalo” march is on hold by farmer leaders on Wednesday afternoon. Farmer leaders from Punjab and Haryana previously halted the farmers’ protest on Sunday evening after the fourth round of talks with Union Ministers. This happened after a protestor died because of a head injury at the Haryana border. He died at the Khanauri border area when the security personnel and protestors clashed on 21st February. 

After the clash between Haryana police and the protesting farmers, at least 12 police personnel were injured amid the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march at the Data Singh-Khanauri border. Police were left startled when protestors surrounded them from every side at the Khanauri border and burned stubble with chilli powder, causing visibility issues and intense breathing.

Haryana police force has also informed that as many as 3 police officers have lost lives so far in the farmer’s protest. On Wednesday, Vijay Tohajna, a Haryana police sub-inspector, who was posted at the Tohana border following the farmer’s march, passed away after his health worsened. 

The Impact of Farmer Protest

The protest has had a massive impact on traffic and has disturbed many government services. Delhi police have imposed “traffic restrictions and diversions will be imposed at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders from February 12 for commercial vehicles and from February 13 for all types of vehicles” as the farmers planned to come together at these points on Tuesday afternoon. 

This has created a scene of chaos and traffic in the Delhi NCR. Traffic is expected in outer, eastern, northern, southern, and central parts of Delhi. Elections are approaching and this protest can have a significant impact. Farmers contribute to two-thirds of the population of India and account for nearly a 5th of GDP.

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Divya Stuti

Divya Stuti is a UGC-awarded researcher, writer, poet, and Digital Marketer. She has published multiple poems and short stories- "Pain", and "No Guess" and also contributed to poetry compilations- “Scribbled Perception” and DAFFODILS. She can write technical as well as non-technical contents and optimize them with best SEO practices.