Farmers in Punjab Conclude Protest Against Centre; Leaders Released

Rozana Spokesman  | Amanat Thaper

News, Punjab

Development comes after a Series of Intense Negotiations

Punjab Farmers

CHANDIGARH: Following a determined stand-off, farmers in Punjab have decided to conclude their protest against the central government's policies. Leaders of the 16 prominent farmers' organizations, who were arrested during the march against the Centre, were released late last night. This development comes after a series of intense negotiations between the farmer representatives and the authorities.

In the aftermath of the release of the arrested leaders, a significant decision was made by the farmers to lift the dharnas from 17 different locations across Punjab around 11:00 last night. The protesting farmers had been demonstrating against the central government's policies since August 21, seeking various demands related to agricultural and economic reforms.

One of the farmer leaders, Sarwan Singh Pandher, explained that the Punjab government had detained several leaders during the ongoing agitation, resulting in a tense situation. The clashes between the protestors and law enforcement escalated in Chandigarh, leading to multiple injuries and even the unfortunate demise of a farmer. Pandher asserted that due to the combined pressure and public sentiment, the government was compelled to reassess the situation.

In the wake of these events, a formal request for a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture has been submitted to the Central Government, with the administration inviting the farmer leaders for discussions on September 4. 

A significant development highlighted by Pandher was the financial support provided to the family of the deceased farmer, Pritam Singh Mander. A financial aid of Rs 10 lakh was granted to the family, along with compensation for seriously and less seriously injured protestors. The administration has undertaken to bear the expenses for any damaged equipment during the protests.

In another development, Gagandeep Singh, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Longowal police station, has been transferred in connection to the clash between the farmers and the police. A departmental investigation has also been initiated in the matter.

While the immediate protests have ceased, the leaders emphasized that their struggle is far from over. The farmers' organizations intend to continue their efforts and discussions with the government regarding their demands. Notably, The core demands of the farmers include provisions for 200 days of employment under the Minimum Support Price Guarantee Act, implementation of MNREGA for workers, and a relief package for flood victims.