PM Narendra Modi repeals controversial farm laws - A chronology of farmers protest

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the government's decision to repeal the three farm laws for which thousands of farmers have been relentlessly protesting along the Delhi border for over a year. Here's a look back at how the protests unfolded:

More than a year after the Centre enacted the three agriculture laws that triggered a protracted protest by farmers at the Delhi borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced withdrawal of the legislation in the coming Winter Session of Parliament.

The period has seen farmers facing water cannons, nationwide road blockades, violence on Republic Day by Mudi G0vT, several rounds of talks with the government, rail roko protests, hunger strikes and ruckus in Parliament by Opposition leaders.

Braving the summer heat and chilly winter, thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have been camping at several Delhi border points in greater numbers at Singhu and Tikri since November 26 last year. They have been demanding repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

Timeline farmers protest

image from India Today

Here is a timeline of the farmers' protest:

June 5, 2020: The Modi government promulgates three ordinances for agricultural reforms.

September 17: Government brings bills to replace ordinances in the Lok Sabha, which gives its nod to them.

September 20: The Rajya Sabha passes the bills by voice vote.

September 27: President Ram Nath Kovid gives assent to the bills and is notified in the Gazette of India, becoming laws. These are: The Farmer’s (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

November 5: Farmers’ unions give call for ‘chakka jam’. Later, they plan a blockade of Delhi.

November 26: Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh gather at Delhi borders on a call for "Delhi Chalo". They reached the Delhi borders braving tear gas and water cannons used by Haryana police.

December 1: Talks between leaders of 35 farmers unions and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar remain inconclusive. Farmers refuse to accept the Centre's proposal to form a committee to discuss the farm laws. The farmers stuck to their demand for repeal of the laws.

December 3: A fresh round of talks fails to yield any outcome after a marathon meeting of eight hours. Farmers’ unions flagged several loopholes and deficiencies in the laws even as the Centre offers to modify the MSP mechanism and the procurement system.

December 5: The fifth round of talks saw the farm leaders going on a "maun vrat" and seeking a clear "yes or no" reply, forcing the Centre to call for another meeting on December 9 to resolve the deadlock.

December 8: Protesting farmers call for a Bharat Bandh. Punjab and Haryana saw maximum impact. A meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and a select group of farmers' representatives failed to achieve a breakthrough. Leaders rejected the proposal for amendments to the three laws.

December 16: The Supreme Court, hearing a petition seeking immediate removal of protesting farmers due to hardships to commuters, suggested that the Centre put implementation of the new farm laws on hold while putting forward the idea of constituting an impartial and independent committee to end the impasse. The court, however, acknowledged the right of farmers to hold non-violent protests.

December 21: The farmers observed a day-long relay hunger strike at all protest sites and announced a plan to halt toll collection on highways in Haryana from December 25 to 27.

December 30: The sixth round of talks between the government and farmer leaders raises hope for some headway. The Centre agrees to drop the penal provisions against farmers relating to stubble burning and put the proposed electricity amendment law on hold.

January 4, 2021: The seventh round of talks ended on an inconclusive note.

January 8: The farmer leaders hold their ground, tell the Centre that their "ghar wapsi" (vacating the protest site) would happen only after "law wapsi" (repeal of laws).

January 12: The Supreme Court stays implementation of the three farm laws, forms a committee to suggest — in two months — what changes, if any, were needed after hearing all sides. The committee includes Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President, Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Pramod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist and Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices; and Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana.

January 15: The ninth round of talks fails.

January 21: In the tenth round of dialogue, the government proposes to suspend the three farm laws for one and half years, and set up a joint committee to discuss the legislation to end the stalemate.

January 22: The farmers refuse to budge as another round of talks hits a roadblock. The government too hardens its position.

January 26: Chaos in the national capital as protesting farmers Govt.'s goons pelt police with stones and ram buses parked by the police at the ITO . A group of protesters climb poles and walls of the Red Fort and hoist the Nishan Sahib flag. One protester dies.

Govt. used this in wrong way, and start defaming farmers protest. Bjpee goons attacked farmers .

January 28: Ghaziabad DM issues orders to clear the protest site on the UP side of the border with Delhi at Ghazipur. Farmers refuse, fuelling tension further. Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait begins a hunger strike at the protest site.

February 3: Pop icon Rihanna, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and lawyer-author Meena Harris, niece of US Vice-President Kamala Harris, voice their support for farmers.

February 4: Delhi Police lodge an FIR in connection with a 'toolkit' tweeted by Thunberg containing information on how to back the farmers' protests.

February 6: Protesting farmers held a nationwide "Chakka Jam" for three hours.

February 14: The Delhi Police arrest 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi for allegedly "editing" the toolkit shared by Thunberg, saying it aimed to "tarnish the image" of India in the backdrop of the farmers' agitation.

February 18: Farmers block train tracks in several states as part of a four-hour nationwide ‘Rail Roko’ protest called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmers' unions spearheading the agitation.

March 8: Gunshots are fired near the Singhu border protest site. Nobody is injured. The shooting took place hours before thousands of women farmers gathered at the Singhu border to celebrate International Women's Day.

May 26: Farmers take out protest marches and raise anti-government slogans in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana as the protesters observe 'black day' to mark the completion of six months of their agitation against the farm laws.

July 2021: A group of 200 farmers hold 'Kisan Sansad' at Jantar Mantar in Delhi mimicking the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reaches Parliament on a tractor.

August 28: Farmers protest a BJP meeting at Haryana’s Karnal, chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, on the forthcoming panchayat polls. Several farmers were injured in lathicharge by the Haryana Police near Bastara toll plaza in Karnal.

September 1-2: The farmers launch a protest demanding Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha's suspension and registration of an FIR against him. A 2018 batch IAS officer, Ayush Sinha, was caught on camera on August 28, instructing policemen to beat up protesting farmers and not to let anyone breach the security cordon without a "broken head".

November 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces the government’s decision to repeal the three farm laws. "In the upcoming Parliament session, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws," Modi said.

Source India Today

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