India

Farmers’ protest: No nod for Republic Day rally; SC panel begins consultation

The panel appointed by the Supreme Court to find a solution to the impasse after studying the farm laws and talking to the stakeholders interacted with 10 farmer organisations on Thursday, beginning its consultation process. The committee will have to submit its report within two months and until that time the implementation of the farm laws will be stayed, the Supreme Court had ordered.

Meanwhile, farmers who are protesting at Delhi borders met Delhi Police officials on Thursday over permission for tractor march on Delhi’s Outer Ring Road.

The protest of the farmers against the three contentious laws began on November 26 and is still going strong. Several parallel developments have taken place in the last few days.

1. The talks between the protesting farmers and the Centre is going on. The 10th round of meeting was held on Wednesday in which the Centre has proposed to hold the implementation of the laws for 1.5 to 2 years. In the next meeting on January 22, farmers’ union leaders will reply to the Centre after discussing among themselves.

2. The consultation of the SC-appointed committee will be going on separately from the talks between the protesting farmers and the Centre. This committee is supposed to talk to as many as farmers organisations possible, not only the protesting ones. In fact, the protesting unions earlier refused to attend any meeting of this panel as they said the members are supporters of the farmers’ laws.

3. On Thursday, the panel virtually interacted with 10 farmers’ organisation from eight states, including Uttar Pradesh. Other states were Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

4. Currently, there are three members in the panel — president of Maharasthra-based Shetkari Sanghatana Anil Ghanwat and agri-economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi. Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann has recused himself from the committee.

5. The panel issued a statement, which said, “The farmers’ unions participated in the discussion and gave their frank opinion including suggestions to improve the implementation of Acts.”

6. Protesting farmers are planning a peaceful tractor march on Republic Day on the Outer Ring Road. This case too reached the Supreme Court which said it was Delhi Police’s decision whether they would allow the march or not.

7. Delhi Police has not granted the permission to hold tractor march on Outer Ring Road. Police officers tried to convince them to hold the rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway, which the farmers didn’t accept.

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