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Farmers to hold rally in Panipat today to ‘awaken’ govt against farm laws

Farmers will hold a rally in Haryana’s Panipat on Sunday, where farm leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, are likely to address agriculturalists protesting against the three contentious farm laws. Farm leader from Karnal, Ratan Mann, who is monitoring the arrangements for the rally, said it is being organised to “awaken” the government to repeal the anti-farmer laws. Mann said thousands of farmers from the state will attend the rally as farm leaders will give an important message ahead of the Bharat Bandh.

He was referring to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) call for a Bharat Bandh on Monday on the completion of 10 months of their ongoing agitation against the farm laws enacted by the Centre last year.

Officials have said that the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (BKU) Haryana unit will organise the rally and they have invited many leaders of the SKM. “The rally is being organised by the BKU as farmers from Panipat have invited Rakesh Tikait to honour him for the ongoing agitation,” Mann, who is also the state BKU president, said.

This will be the first such rally in the state after a three-day protest by farm leaders over lathi-charge on farmers on August 28 in Karnal. The protestors claimed that at least 10 farmers were injured and one died due to the police’s action during that rally.

The SKM on Thursday appealed to the people of the nation to join the Bharat Bandh against the Centre’s farm laws and asked political parties to “stand with farmers in their “quest to defend principles of democracy and federalism”. “SKM appeals to every Indian to join this nationwide movement and make the ‘Bharat Bandh’ a resounding success. In particular, we appeal to all organisations of workers, traders, transporters, businessmen, students, youth and women and all social movements to extend solidarity with the farmers that day,” the SKM said in a statement, according to news agency PTI.

The bandh will be held from 6am to 4pm, during which all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments, as well as public events and functions, will be closed throughout the nation All emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies will be exempted in the bandh, reports PTI.

Farmers across the nation have been protesting at different sites since November last year against three farm laws enacted by the central government: 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.

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