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Elderly farmers at Delhi's Gazipur border say will continue protest till issues resolved

News Agencies | Updated on: 6 December 2020, 13:45 IST

Elderly farmers from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh who are participating in the ongoing protests at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border near Gazipur against the three agriculture sector laws said on Sunday that they were neither afraid of Covid-19, nor death and will not end the agitation till their issues are resolved.

Kalu Ram an 83-year-old farmer from Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh said he's protesting to protect the rights of his children, and all farmers are united in their fight against the three laws passed by the government.

"How can I sit at home and leave my children alone who are protesting here. We have no groups in this fight, our issues are one and we are all one. If we die here, it is okay. May God give wisdom to the government to take these laws back. If our demands are not addressed, we will sit in Ramlila Maidan with our tractors and our animals," said Kalu Ram.

Dharmpal, 65, who also arrived from Baghpat district at the Gazipur border on the National Highway 24, said he is not afraid of contracting Covid-19.

"We are people connected to the soil. We cannot get the coronavirus infection. People who sit in AC chambers should worry about that. Anyway, what can we do when the government is not listening to our demands," Dharampal said.

70-year-old, Haji Rizwan, who came from Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh echoed Dharampal's views and said farmers will continue to protest through all hardships till their demands are addressed.

"Be it is winter or summer, we will eat anything and nothing will happen to us. We don't have any option but to protest. During the sowing season, our wheat crop got delayed because we were stopped from burning stubble. The government is also not giving us any reassurance in written about the minimum support price. We are very unhappy," Rizwan said.

Devendra Masiwal from Nainital in Uttarakhand said that he always supported BJP and RSS and even voted for the party in past elections, but added that laws are not going to benefit the farmers and should be repealed.

Notably, the protest at the Ghazipur border entered the ninth day today as the farmers from UP and Uttarakhand blocked the border to border on November 28.

Their counterparts from Punjab and Haryana had reached the Singhu and Tikri borders on November 26 as part of the 'Dilli Chalo' protests.

Demonstrations by the farmers at the Sant Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari on the outskirts of Delhi and other border areas of the national capital entered the eleventh day on Sunday. The farmers have called a nationwide shutdown on December 8.

Leaders of the farmer groups had met representatives of the Centre, led by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash on December 5 for the fifth round of talks to end the deadlock over the new farm laws.

The meeting remained inconclusive, and the Centre announced another meeting on December 9. Agriculture Minister Tomar after the meeting reassured the agitating farmers that the APMCs will not be weakened and MSP will continue as he urged farmer unions to give up their agitation and solve their grievances through talks.

At Saturday's dialogue, the Centre had given a pointwise written reply of the minutes of the fourth meeting after farmers' representatives asked for it. Farmers said that they need a solution or commitment from the Centre and did not want further discussion.

On December 3, the farmers held the fourth round of talks with the Centre and said the government had talked of bringing some amendments to farm laws. In the fourth round of the meeting, farmer leaders suggested the government to hold a special session of the Parliament and sought the abolition of the three farm laws.

The farmers are protesting against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.


Also Read: TRS lends total support to farmers' call for 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8

First published: 6 December 2020, 13:45 IST