Boxer Vijender Singh joins farmers at Singhu border; threatens to return  Khel Ratna Award if govt does not withdraw farm bills
Boxer Vijender Singh joins farmers at Singhu border; threatens to return Khel Ratna Award if govt does not withdraw farm bills

A day after singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh went to Singhu border to support agitating farmers, today boxer Vijender Singh joined the protest.

The Khel Ratna awardee also threatened to return his award if the government fails to withdraw farm bills.

"If the government doesn't withdraw the black laws, I'll return my Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award - the highest sporting honour of the nation," he said while speaking from the protest site at Singhu border.

He was given Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in July 2009.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games, is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India.

The protest by farmers agitating against the three agriculture laws passed by the Centre entered its eleventh day on Sunday with demonstrations in Sant Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari on the outskirts of Delhi and other border areas.

Leaders of the farmer groups had met representatives of the Centre, led by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash on December 5 for the fifth round of talks to end the deadlock over the new farm laws.

The meeting remained inconclusive, and the Centre announced another meeting on December 9. Agriculture Minister Tomar after the meeting reassured the agitating farmers that the APMCs will not be weakened and MSP will continue as he urged farmer unions to give up their agitation and solve their grievances through talks.

Meanwhile, a nationwide shutdown has been called by the protesting farmers on December 8. The Delhi Traffic Police on Saturday closed seven borders to the national capital, including Singhu, Auchandi, Lampur, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh, Tikri and Jharoda and issued advisories.

At Saturday's dialogue, the Centre had given a pointwise written reply of the minutes of the fourth meeting after farmers' representatives asked for it. Farmers said that they need a solution or commitment from the Centre and did not want further discussion.

On December 3, the farmers held the fourth round of talks with the Centre and said the government had talked of bringing some amendments to farm laws. In the fourth round of the meeting, farmer leaders suggested the government to hold a special session of the Parliament and sought the abolition of the three farm laws.

The farmers are protesting against 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.

(With inputs from ANI)

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