A “Black Day” is planned for farmers in India on February 26 in response to the death of a protester

On February 26, farmers in India will observe a “Black Day” in response to the death of a protester last week at the border between Punjab and Haryana. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) demanded a murder case in connection with the incident that resulted in the death of a 22-year-old farmer who was actively participating in a demonstration. The SKM announced that they would hold a “Black Day” on Friday and march with tractors to express their disapproval of the incident.

The farmers chose to put their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march on hold for two days immediately following the incident, resulting in the injuries of at least twelve additional peasants. Following a gathering in Chandigarh, the SKM announced that farmers will hold tractor rallies on highways across the country on February 26 and a Mahapanchayat in Delhi on March 14. Farmers will also burn effigies of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his counterpart in Haryana, Anil Vij, to express their dissatisfaction with the police’s actions.

Farmer leaders refused to accept a proposal presented by the government during the fourth round of negotiations, prompting the demonstration to resume. On February 13, the farmers of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh began their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to exert pressure for their demands. Security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri points, located on the border between the states, arrested most of the protesters despite heavy barricades at the border between Haryana and Punjab and entry points into the National Capital.

More than two hundred different farmer’s unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, are participating in the march with the intention of putting pressure on the Centre to meet their demands. They are demanding the implementation of the recommendations made by the Swaminathan Commission, a pension for farmers and farm labourers, a waiver of farm debt, the elimination of any increase in the tariff for electricity, the withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the violence that occurred in Lakhimpur Kheri in 2021, the reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation for the families of farmers who passed away during an earlier agitation in 2020–21.

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In addition to the legal guarantee of MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the recommendations made by the Swaminathan Commission, a pension for farmers and farm Laboure’s, a waiver of farm debt, the elimination of any increase in the tariff for electricity, the withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the violence that occurred in Lakhimpur Kheri in 2021, the reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation for the families of farmers who passed away during an earlier agitation in 2020–21.

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The following is an update on the most recent developments in the farmers’ protest:

  • Balbir Singh Rajewal, leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (SKM), calls for a murder case against a farmer at the Khanauri border.
  • Subhkaran Singh, a farmer from Bathinda district, died in a protest at the Punjab-Haryana border.
  • The government is optimistic about resolving the farmers‘ protest before the start of the wheat procurement season in March.
  • A’mahapanchayat’ of farmers is scheduled to take place on March 14 at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.
  • Rakesh Tikait, a farmer leader, plans to conduct daily demonstrations.
  • The Delhi Assembly expressed condolences for the death of 21-year-old Shubhkaran Singh.
  • The SKM was not a participant in the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march but provided support.
  • The Congress party has escalated its attack on the BJP-led government and demanded a special Parliament session to discuss the urgent problems faced by tillers.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated his government is prioritizing village-related aspects and improving the lives of small farmers.

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