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Farmers to return home on December 11; battle won but war for rights continues: SKM

A child stands near a message 'Kirat di Jitt' or victory of honest living conveyed by protesting farmers through grass arrangement in Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border on December 9, 2021. Photo: SKM

New Delhi, Dec 9 (MNN) The farmers protesting on the Delhi borders for the last 378 days are all set to return home on December 11 as they have received an official communique on their pending demands from the Indian government.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha – spearheading the agitation by farmers against the three central farm laws, since repealed – has since decided to end what they said was the “world’s largest ongoing farmers revolution”.

The SKM will hold its meeting on January 15 in Delhi to see that the government keeps its commitment made to them and to chart out the future course of action. “If the government goes back on its promises, it will be given another shock treatment,” remarked farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan.

The SKM plans to organise a ‘Fateh Ardas’ or victory prayer at 5.30pm on Thursday and then take out a ‘Fateh March’ or victory march at their protests sites on Delhi borders around 9am on December 11 before beginning their return journey.

Since the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case is under the Supreme Court lens at present, it was decided during talks with the government that no action can be taken as such.

Farmer leaders have said they apologised to all those inconvenienced due to the protests by the farmers in the last one year.

Later in the evening, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha confirmed that the government of India had sent a formal letter through Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, to the SKM to convey it had agreed to “several pending demands”.

The Morcha leaders said it formally announced the lifting of ‘morchas’ on national highways on Delhi borders and various other locations.

“The current agitation stands ‘suspended’. The battle has been won but the war to ensure farmers’ rights, especially to secure MSP as a legal entitlement for all farmers, will continue,” the Morcha leaders said in their statement.

The SKM dedicated what it called “fabulous and historic victory” of their struggle to around 715 “martyrs” of the farmers’ movement, including those in Lakhimpur Kheri.

It said that since the nation is mourning the demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat and other 12 persons in a chopper crash, all celebrations had been postponed.

Celebratory rallies will be taken out on December 11 when farmers leave ‘morcha’ sites together in victory rallies.

The SKM will hold its next meeting on January 15 in Delhi to ensure that the government of India keeps its commitments to farmers and to chart out the future course of action.

Meanwhile, the farmers had begun to dismantle the makeshift structures that had been their homes on the Singhu and Tikri on the Delhi-Haryana border since November 26, 2020.

The farmer leaders have been demanding a written assurance from the Indian government on the withdrawal of thousands of cases registered against farmers during their one-year protests. They pointed out that nearly 48,000 cases were registered in BJP-ruled Haryana alone, apart from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and other states.

The farmers have also been insisting on Minimum Support Price for all crops and have set up a five-member panel to hold talks with the Indian government and take decisions accordingly.

There were certain sore points in the efforts to break the logjam over various farmer demands, which were flagged by farmer leaders in the past several days. It is well-nigh possible that they have now received written communication from the government, about which they are satisfied.

The SKM leaders earlier met around noon at the Singhu site and mulled the ‘revised draft proposal’ from the Indian government on their pending demands. An official statement from the SKM is yet to come out.

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