Farmers end protest on assurance

| | NEW DELHI
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Farmers end protest on assurance

Sunday, 22 September 2019 | Staff Reporter | NEW DELHI

The farmers camping at the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border since Friday ended their protest on Saturday evening after Union Agriculture Ministry assured action on five of their 15 demands.

According to Rajendra Yadav, UP in-charge of the Bharatiya Kisan Sanghathan, a delegation of farmers met Agriculture Ministry officials on Saturday afternoon who agreed on 5 of the 15 demands following which they have ended their protest.

"The Ministry officials told us that the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister are not in the city and as soon as they will be available, the remaining 10 demands will be discussed," said Yadav.

"The officials also assured us to look into our demand for insurance schemes for crops, farmers and their families. The officials also said that they will also see possibilities into 14-day payment window for sugarcane, making rivers pollution-free and involvement of farmers in the crop rate determination," said Yadav.

Hundreds of farmers from various parts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) started their march on Saturday morning from Sector 69, Noida, towards Kisan Ghat in New Delhi, to raise their demands of payment of sugarcane crop dues, full loan waiver and making electricity free for farming amongst others.

However, they were stopped at the Delhi-UP border on Saturday while a delegation was allowed to meet officials at the Krishi Bhavan. The farmers are protesting under the banner of Bharat Kisan Union (BKU).

The security was beefed up along the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in the wake of the protest march, launched by the farmers on September 17.

The farmers who had stayed in Noida on Friday were at Delhi Gate, on the Delhi-Ghaziabad border, around noon, causing an obstruction in traffic along the route. "Traffic is obstructed in both carriageways from Ghazipur Border UP Gate on NH-9, NH-24 towards Nizamuddin due to the farmers' rally," the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.

While in Noida, the farmers held talks with government representatives but those failed to materialize on Friday. They are on their way to Kisan Ghat, the memorial of the former Prime Minister and farmers' leader Chaudhary Charan Singh, in the national capital. Among their other major demands is the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee's recommendation.

Heavy security, including paramilitary forces, was deployed on the route of the march. Farmers were expected to enter Delhi from Ghazipur border via NH 24.

Alok Kumar, the Joint Commissioner of Police, Eastern Range-Delhi at Delhi-UP border near Ghazipur, said, "We are coordinating with UP police. In the afternoon that the protestors have been stopped at Delhi-UP border but the traffic situation was normal. One delegation has gone to meet officials in the national Capital."

The UP Government has set October 31 as the deadline for sugar mills to clear dues of cane growers, UP State Minister Suresh Rana said, warning strict action against defaulters. The agitating farmers later in the day called off the protest after the Government assured them.

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