Farmers protesting against the new farm laws have told the government to not test their patience, initiate dialogues and accept their demands. The farmers continued their protests as heavy rains lashed the national capital amid a second COVID wave.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of agitating farmers’ unions, on Wednesday, 19 May, warned the Centre to take responsibility for every "human and other loss" occurring on the borders of Delhi.
For six long months, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at three sites – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – along Delhi’s border, demanding repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP).
With Cyclone Tauktae causing heavy rains in the area, there has been a lot of “disruption and loss”.
"It has been chaotic with regard to food and accommodation due to the rain. Roads and several parts of the protest sites have been inundated," the union stated.
“... More than 470 farmers have been martyred in the farmers’ movement. Many agitators have had to leave their jobs, education and other works. The government’s attitude, however, shows how inhuman and careless it is towards its own citizens and annadaatas.”Samyukta Kisan Morcha
There have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and the government, but there seems to be no clear consensus so far.
The Centre has assured that the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen. In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmers’ unions. They believe that these laws would instead pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, giving the corporates a huge advantage.
The Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of the laws until further orders and has set up a committee to resolve the issue.