Chakka Jam Latest Updates: As the 3-hour-long nationwide chakka jam ended on a peaceful note, farmers leaders on Saturday evening said they are ready to resume talks with the government, but asked it to come up with a fresh proposal as the existing offer to put the three farm laws on hold for 12-18 months is not acceptable to them. The unions, however, made it clear that they would not settle for anything less than the repeal of the three contentious laws. Also Read - Ready to Protest in Summers: Farmers at Ghazipur Border Put up Tents
Ball in govt’s court: Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border, Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s senior leader Darshan Pal said the ball is now in the government’s court now. “We are ready to talk. The ball is in the government’s court. We clearly told them that their last proposal (of suspending the farm laws for 12-18 months) was not acceptable to us. Now, they should come up with a new proposal,” he told reporters. Also Read - Farmers to Gherao Agriculture Ministry on Feb 26, Govt Says Ready to Resume Talks With Protesters | Key Points
No ‘ghar wapsi’ if no ‘law wapsi’: Soon after the chakka jam, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said the protesters demanding the rollback of the contentious agri-marketing laws on Delhi’s outskirts will stay put till October 2 and there will not be any compromise on the demands. “Farmers will return home only after the government repeals the contentious legislations and make a law ensuring legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP),” the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader said. He also added that if the government is understanding this, then talk to farmers and make a law on the MSP, take back the three laws, only then will farmers return to their homes. Also Read - 40 Lakh Tractors Will Be There: Farmer Leader Rakesh Tikait Holds Out Threat of Parliament Siege
Peaceful chakka jam: Earlier in the day, farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan blocked highways with tractor-trolleys and squatted on key roads, while scattered protests were held in other states during a three-hour ‘chakka jam’ called by agitating farmer unions which are demanding scrapping of the Centre’s new agri laws.
No untoward incident: However, no untoward incident was reported in any part of the country during Saturday’s protests though scores of people were detained in several states, including 50 at Shaheedi Park in the national capital which was brought under a thick security blanket in light of the violence during the farmers’ tractor parade on January 26.
No chakka jam in Delhi, UP, U’khand: While Delhi along with Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand was kept out of Saturday’s road blockade from 12 noon till 3 PM by agitating farmer unions, authorities suspended internet at the protest sites of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri as well as adjoining areas for 24 hours till Saturday night and closed entry and exit facilities at 10 prominent Delhi Metro stations for few hours. Singhu border looked crowded than before as more tractors and farmers made their way to the protest sites, while drone cameras, multilayered barricades, nail-studded roads and barbed wires were in place as part of precautionary measures by the police.
Heavy security deployment: Taking preventive measure to avoid any untoward situation, security forces, including anti-riot police, were deployed at important junctions across the national capital, including Red Fort and ITO, which had witnessed violence on January 26. The police also monitored content on social media.
Women also took part in the stir in a sizeable number at several places. Folk songs blared from speakers and people perched atop truck-tractors hoisted the tricolour on the KMP Expressway. Biscuits and fruits were distributed to the protesting farmers sitting on the road. Those coming to the stretch with their vehicles were politely informed about the protest and requested to turn back.
Protesters detained: While over 50 protesters were detained in Delhi, nearly 40 protesters, including senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan’s wife Satvasheela Chavan, were detained for holding a protest on a busy road at Kolhapur Naka in Karad in western Maharashtra on Saturday afternoon.
Protesters were also held briefly by police as they stalled traffic in parts of Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The Congress and Left parties too joined the protests in some states in support of the ‘chakka jam’ called by the agitating farmer unions.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting since late November at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the rollback of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.