Farmers' victory march today as yearlong protest comes to end
Thousands of farmers camping at Delhi's borders will hold a victory march on Saturday as they start returning to their homes in Punjab, Haryana, and other states. They will gather for some ceremonies before starting their journey. Farmers had been protesting since last year over three controversial agricultural laws that have since been repealed. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
- This marks an end to the 15-month-long agitation, one of the longest and most prominent in independent India.
- It will also lead to a reopening of Delhi's borders allowing easier entry and exit from the national capital.
- Politicians and pundits are also debating the protest's impact on the upcoming elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh - just months away from now.
Special arrangements on highways
The protesters have started dismantling their camps at the border sites which surrounded Delhi for well over the past year. Further, arrangements have been made along highways to greet the farmers on their way home. The victory march was pushed from Friday to Saturday in view of the tragic chopper crash in Tamil Nadu that killed 13 people include Defence chief General Bipin Rawat.
Here are visuals from Delhi borders
Barricades to be removed in phases
The Delhi Police will remove the many layers of barricades from the protest sites in a phased manner, official said. The temporary structures set up to house police personnel in those areas will also be dismantled.
Why were farmers protesting?
Farmers had been protesting the three laws passed last year. They said the laws would leave them at the mercy of corporates and deprive them of their minimum assured earnings. The Centre, on the other hand, said the laws were meant for their benefit and to maximize their income. Multiple rounds of discussions between the protesters and government officials failed to end the deadlock.
Government accepts pending demands
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the cancellation of the laws last month but farmers said they would stay put until other demands were also met. The government has since promised to form a committee to decide on the issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP). It also agreed to drop all police cases filed against farmers over the past year.