Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: Farmers launch day-long fast; Security increased at Ghazipur border

Farmers' Protest Live News Updates: "The events on January 30 will be organised to spread the values of truth and non-violence," the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said in a statement.

Farmers Protest Live Update: Farmers protesting at the three sites at Delhi’s borders are holding a day-long fast, between 9 am and 5 pm, as they observe ‘Sadbhavna Divas’ to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. “We appeal to everyone in the country to join us in observing fast on January 30,” a Kisan Ekta Morcha leader said during a press conference on Friday.  

“The farmers movement was peaceful and will be peaceful. The events on January 30 will be organised to spread the values of truth and non-violence. The way the government is spreading planned lies and violence in condemnable,” a statement issued by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) read. The SKM went on to allege that the BJP-led central government was “desperately plotting to kill this movement”, news agency ANI reported. 

Meanwhile, violence erupted at Singhu on Friday, for the first time since November 26 when the protests began there. An group of some 200 got past three layers of security barricades, claimed the farmers’ agitation had affected their livelihoods, and damaged tents and shelters while clashing with farm protesters.

With both sides throwing stones at each other, the Delhi Police later said that 44 people, including a 22-year-old man who allegedly attacked a sub-inspector with a sword, were arrested. Sources told The Indian Express all those arrested were farm protesters.

On Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind told Parliament the Supreme Court had stayed implementation of the three contentious farm laws and the government “respects the decision of the apex court and shall abide by it”.

Farmers’ protest Live News Updates: Farmers launch day-long fast to observe ‘Sadbhavna Divas’, marking Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary; 44 arrested for violence at Singhu; support grows for Tikait at Ghazipur protest site; and more. Follow latest news and updates below.

Security has been ramped up at Ghazipur border to prevent “miscreants” from causing trouble during the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s contentious new farm laws, ANI reported. 

“Security deployment at Ghazipur border was increased to see any miscreant doesn’t enter protest and create ruckus. But few people made assumption that we’re going to use force. We said that we’ll have discussion before coming to conclusion & it’s underway,” Uttar Pradesh ADG Law and order Prashant Kumar told ANI.

The move by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to get the farm protest site at Ghazipur vacated has the potential to revitalise the agitation against the Centre’s new agriculture laws after the violence at Red Fort during Republic Day appeared to have dented its credibility, according to the ruling party’s senior leaders in western UP and Haryana.

Speaking to The Indian Express, the leaders, including several MPs, said that Thursday’s order from the Ghaziabad administration and the heavy police deployment to evict the protesters led by BKU leader Rakesh Tikait have inflamed the sentiments of farmers, especially those from the Jat community which carries significant political weight in western UP, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan. Read more here.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh condemned the violence during the tractor parade on Republic Day but added that it was not a crime to hoist Nishan Sahib on a vacant flag post at the Red Fort. He also urged Union government and farmer unions to take a step back and shun rigidness.

“Violence by farmers or police at Red Fort can’t be justified. But controversy over hoisting Nishan Sahib over vacant flag pole at Red Fort is a non-issue,” the Jathedar said in statement.

He added: “Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee organises Fateh March every year to Red Fort with Nishan Sahib. Nishan Sahib is hoisted at Galwan Valley. Nishan Sahib was part of Republic Day Parade this year. It is not right to criticise Nishan Sahib by calling it the flag of Khalistan.”

“Before BJP supporters we are farmers and how can we tolerate such anti-farmer policies of our own government.”

Among scores of pakka morchas currently underway across Punjab, there is one that stands out for being run by a majority of BJP supporters to oppose farm laws brought by the BJP-led Union government. Further, it is being staged inside the Lok Sabha constituency of BJP MP and Union Minister Som Prakash.

Even after the Red Fort incident, the protesters holding fort at this dharna at Harsa Mansar Toll Plaza in Mukerian, Hoshiarpur district, said that their protest will continue. Read more here. 

Following protests near the dharna site of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee( KMSC) at Singhu border, Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) leaders announced that they will be marching from Tikri border to Singhu border in support of the protesting farmers on Saturday afternoon. 

The BKU (Ugrahan) leaders added that an attack on farmers would not be tolerated as they were all part of the same movement and were protesting against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws. 

For the first time since November 26, when the sit-in started there, violence erupted at the farm protest site in Singhu. In full view of police who kept watching, an estimated group of 200 got past three layers of security barricades Friday, claimed that the farmers’ agitation had affected their livelihood, and damaged tents and shelters while clashing with farm protesters.

The Delhi Police later said that 44 people, including a 22-year-old man who allegedly attacked a sub-inspector with a sword, were arrested. Sources told The Indian Express all those arrested were farm protesters. Read more here.

The leaders of the farmers protest will be targeted with all the national security arsenal that the state has used in previous protests, from Bhima Koregaon to the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Addressing the violent clashes that broke out between farmers and the Delhi Police at Red Fort on Republic day, President Ramnath Kovind said, “My government has always respected freedom of expression and holding of peaceful agitations in a democratic set-up. However, the recent acts of dishonouring the National Flag and showing disrespect to the auspicious occasion of the Republic Day are unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, stating that he had been been warning for a long time that Pakistan will try to exploit the unrest over the farm laws to disturb Punjab’s peace, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Friday said central agencies should investigate into possible role of the neighbouring country in the recent disturbances and violence during the farmers’ agitation in Delhi.

“What is happening and what happened at Singhu today is what Pakistan wants,” said Amarinder.

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