Chandigarh: Deadlock Over MSP Continues; Fourth Round Of Talks Between Protesting Farmers & Central Ministers On February 18

Chandigarh: Deadlock Over MSP Continues; Fourth Round Of Talks Between Protesting Farmers & Central Ministers On February 18

Authorities in Haryana and Delhi have fortified their borders with multiple layers of barricading and the deployment of police and paramilitary forces.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 08:19 PM IST
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Protesting farmers listen to a speaker at the Shambhu Border during the Samyukta Kisan Morcha's (SKM) Bharat Bandh, in Patiala district, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. | PTI

Chandigarh: The third round of talks between the protesting farmers and the team of Central ministers concluded past Thursday midnight "on a positive note," though the deadlock persisted on the issue of a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) demanded by the former, and the latter stating a law on MSP could not be framed and implemented "in a hurry."

It may be recalled that the previous two rounds of talks between the Central ministers and farmers had also fallen flat on February 8 and 12 last, primarily because of a deadlock on the issues of MSP and loan waiver.

The meeting, which went on till past midnight, included Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Nityanand Rai, and Arjun Munda, senior farm leaders Sarvan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal, and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann and Punjab agriculture minister Harpal Cheema.

Briefing media, Munda said that the meeting was "very positive" and that they had decided to meet again on February 18.

Mann said that there was a consensus on several issues. While farmers would maintain peace, he had asked the Centre to tell Haryana not to use force against the farmer, he said and added that he would continue to mediate the talks for the state as he did not want to see the youth facing teargas shells.

For the record, a multitude of farmers from Punjab has been camping at Shambhu and Khanauri borders of Punjab and Haryana since February 13 last and had witnessed violent skirmishes after the throngs of farmers tried to force their "Delhi Chalo" tractor march into Haryana to move towards Delhi for the first two days. Dozens of farmers and police personnel were reported to have been seriously hurt in the said clashes and most of them were the farmers.

Authorities in Haryana and Delhi, on the other hand, have fortified their borders with multiple layers of barricading and the deployment of police and paramilitary forces.

63-year-old farmer dies of heatr attack

Meanwhile, an elderly farmer from Gurdaspur district, Gian Singh, 63, who was camping at the Shambhu border since February 13, was said to have died of a heart attack on Friday morning. According to information, he had complained of chest pain in the morning following which he was taken to the civil hospital of Rajpura town of Patiala district where he was declared brought dead.

Teargas shelling on day 4

Meanwhile, though there was a total lull at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders on Thursday, the first-named point witnessed some sporadic chaotic scenes on Friday – the day 4 of the farmers' protest. According to information, the Haryana police and the paramilitary forces fired dozens of teargas shells to dissuade and disperse some persons from among the farmers, who reportedly pelted stones and ablaze gunny bags towards them.

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