The on-going agitation of farmers against the three agri laws passed by the Centre has entered its 21st day on Wednesday. They have hardened their stance again and have threatened to block the Chilla border, which connects Delhi and Noida. However, the protests have gone beyond politics thereby igniting a telecom war.
Checkout the recent developments regarding the agitation:
Farmers’ to block Chilla border
Farmers who have been staging protests at Delhi’s borders against the three agricultural laws brought in by the government have warned to again block from Wednesday the Chilla border, which was re-opened for the last few days. They have threatened to completely block the border which connects Noida and Delhi.
Continuous rejection of Centre’s proposal
Addressing a media conference at the Singhu Border, farmer leader Jagjeet Singh Dallewal said: “The government is saying ‘we won’t repeal these laws’, we are saying we will make you do it. The fight has reached a stage where we are determined to win no matter what.”
SC to hear plea for removal of farmers from Delhi borders
The Supreme Court is set to hear on Wednesday a plea seeking immediate removal of farmers who are protesting at several border points of Delhi. The farmers have been agitating at the borders of the national capital since November 26.
The plea has been filed by law student Rishabh Sharma who claims that commuters are facing hardships due to the road blockades and the farmers’ gathering might lead to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
The plea said: “The petitioner is seeking an urgent direction from this court for immediate removal/dispersal of such mass gathering of protesters at the Delhi borders and shift them to the place already allotted by the Delhi Police in view of an immediate threat of the coronavirus infection and spread.”
Call for ‘Homage day’
Farmer union leaders have given a nationwide call to observe ‘Homage Day’ (Shraddhanjali Diwas) on December 20 to pay tributes to those farmers who have lost their lives during the ongoing protests. Farmer leader Rishipal claimed that one farmer has died every day on an average since the protest started in the last week of November.
BKU suspends protests for a month
In a breakthrough for the Centre on Tuesday, the UP-based Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) decided to suspend their agitation pertaining to the farm laws for one month. While the BKU (K) has not been part of the farmers’ stir at the Delhi borders, it has been holding protests at the district level in Uttar Pradesh. The development came after a delegation of members from the union met agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi.
Presence of ‘soldier’ at farmers’ protest creates buzz
The presence of a man in army uniform in the farmers’ protest outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Bathinda on Monday has now got the intelligence agencies trying to ascertain his true identity and confirm if he is a serving soldier or an imposter.
Apart from this man, there also is a video circulating on social media in which two army jawans holding an AK-47 type weapon are seen speaking about the comments made by actor Kangana Ranaut on farmers, which attracted widespread controversy.
Singapore investigation on farmers’ protest
Singapore Police said it is investigating social media posts showing people gathering here without permission in support of the protesting Indian farmers and issued a “strong reminder” that it would not allow assemblies that advocate political causes of other countries.
Channel News Asia quoted the Singapore Police Force as saying: “Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore should abide by our laws. Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visa or work passes, where applicable.”
On-going protest fuels telecom war
Reliance Jio Infocomm, promoted by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) seeking action against Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.
The former highlighted an “unethical and anti-competitive mobile number portability (MNP) campaign” being run by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel amid the protests. Jio has accused Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel of resorting to a vicious tirade that it will somehow gain from the Centre’s new farm bills. Both rivals have debunked the claim.
Farmers’ protests blow to economy
According to an industry body, the ongoing agitation by farmers has led to supply chain disruptions, which will impact the recovery from the current economic contraction due to Covid-19.
The ASSOCHAM said the ongoing protests are dealing a big blow to the interconnected economies of the region, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. A daily loss of Rs 3,000-3,500cr is resulting in the economies of the region from the value chain and transport disruption because of the protests.
The Confederation of Indian Industry said: “The already broken supply-chain which was recovering post the pandemic-induced lockdown has come under severe stress.”