Three protesters die as farmers and Centre fail to break stalemate

While leaders bicker and avoid issues at hand, the death tally kept by farmers' organisations continues to rise


Central government officials and farmer leaders failed to reach a consensus for the eleventh time on January 20, 2021 at the Vigyan Bhavan meeting. Meanwhile, two more farmers and one arhtiya participating in the farmers’ struggle were declared dead on Wednesday.

While farmers and the Centre continued discussions about the three laws and the legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP,) the “Human Cost of Farmers Protest” blog maintained by farmers organisations recorded three deaths while the meeting went on. Particularly, a Haryana farmer at the Tikri border died by suicide and left a note blaming the central government and its three laws for his death.

In the same area, 60-year-old farmer Dhanna Singh was found unconscious in his bed and declared dead at the Bahadurgarh hospital in Haryana. Arhtiya Sohan Lal died of a heart attack at the PGI Hospital Chandigarh, a day after suffering a heart attack at the Delhi protest site.

At least 142 persons have died during the farmers’ struggle after November 24, 2020.

Meanwhile, government officials advised farmer leaders to consider amending the three laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. However, farmer leaders reiterated their sole demand to repeal the laws.

Moreover, the government refused to talk about the legalisation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) until they reached a consensus on the topic of the three laws.

During the first-half of the meeting, leaders talked about farmers being harassed with National Investigation Agency (NIA) notices and the arrest of three farmers in Himachal Pradesh. Ministers said they will look into the matter.

The next meeting has been scheduled for January 22.

Farmers are also in talks with local police to plan the national-level Kisan Parade on Republic Day January 26 and the state-level Mahapadav that will lead up to the event.


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