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SKM forms panel to launch united fight for protesting farmers' demands

The members of the panel include Hannan Mollah, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Balbeer Singh Rajewal, Yudhvir Singh, Darshan Pal and Raminder Patiala

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The SKM, which spearheaded the 2020-21 farm agitation against the now-repealed farm laws, is not part of the Delhi Chalo agitation, but has extended support to it

Sanjeeb MukherjeeAgencies Chandigarh/ New Delhi

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The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which spearheaded agitation in 2020-21 against the three farm bills  that have since been repealed, on Thursday formed a six-member committee that will hold talks with its other former members to launch a united action plan and press for the key demands of the protesting farmers.

The members of the panel are Hannan Mollah, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Balbeer Singh Rajewal, Yudhvir Singh, Darshan Pal, and Raminder Patiala.

“We have left it to the panel members to decide whom they should talk with to unite all farmer groups which were part of the earlier SKM,” Avik Saha, National Convener of Jai Kisan Andolan and one of the prominent voices of the farmers’ movement, told Business Standard.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political), a breakaway faction of SKM, and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) are spearheading the ongoing 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the government to accept farmers’ demands, including a legal guarantee of MSP for crops and a farm loan waiver.

The SKM (non-political) and KMM leaders on Wednesday put their march on hold for two days after the death of farmer Subhkaran Singh.

The old SKM has also chalked out a four-phase agitation programme that will start with a nationwide Black Day on February 23 when effigies of Home Minister Amit Shah and others will be burnt to protest the death of Subhkaran. The 21-year-old native of Bathinda died amid clashes between Haryana police and Punjab farmers.

Farmer leaders have demanded a judicial inquiry and Rs 1 crore in compensation to the farmer's family.

As per news agency, PTI, when asked whether the SKM will join the ongoing protest at two points on the Punjab-Haryana border, farmer leader Balbir Rajewal said the SKM is holding its agitation independently. The SKM, which led the 2020-21 farm agitation, is not part of the ongoing ‘Delhi Chalo’ agitation, but has extended support to it.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said a tractor march will be taken out on highways on February 26 and an effigy of the World Trade Organisation will also be set ablaze as the farmers do not want the agriculture sector to remain under the international body's remit.

Besides MSP, the Punjab farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases, and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and compensation to the families of the farmers who died in agitation in 2020-21 are also among their demands.

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First Published: Feb 22 2024 | 9:48 PM IST

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