India’s farmers call off year-long protest after gov’t assurances

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The protest was called off after the government agreed to pending demands, including a promise to consider guaranteed prices for all produce.

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Union leaders have said that India’s farmers will call off the long-running protests, as the government has accepted several pending demands, including considering guaranteed prices for all produce, not just rice and wheat. assurance is included.

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Thousands of farmers had long protested to persuade Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal three new laws passed in September last year. An announcement was made to end the strike on Thursday.

The government said the laws are aimed at modernizing India’s vast agricultural sector and would increase incomes by giving farmers more options to sell their produce.

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But farmers said the law would give control over the sector to private corporations and deprive them of the minimum support price (MSP) guaranteed by the government for their produce.

Last month, Modi made a surprise U-turn in a TV address apologizing to the nation and said he would withdraw the controversial laws. His announcement came ahead of crucial regional elections in the “grain bowl” states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Farmers union leader Jagmohan Singh confirmed to Al Jazeera, “We have decided to withdraw the protest as most of our demands have been accepted by the government.”

“After the government repealed the agriculture laws, they have now accepted our demand to drop charges against farmers in various states. Also we have been assured that a committee will be formed on MSP.

Visuals shared by journalists and news organizations on social media showed several farmers removing tents from the main protest site at Singhu outside the capital New Delhi.

At a protest camp on the outskirts of New Delhi, Balbir Singh Rajewal said a victory march would be taken out on Saturday to celebrate the victory of the campaign against the laws.

Despite Modi’s ascension, farmers continued to pressurize the government to meet other demands like MSP for all produce. Currently, the government mainly buys rice and wheat at MSP, benefiting hardly 6 per cent of India’s millions of farmers.

Farmers union leaders said that on Tuesday, farmers received a proposal from the government to address some of their demands, including MSP for all produce, not just rice and wheat.

Other farmers’ demands include withdrawal of legal cases filed against protesting growers and compensation to the families of those killed during the protests.

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