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"How Can Country Progress When Farmers Are Attacked With Tear Gas Shells", Asks Mamata Banerjee

05:09 PM Feb 13, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
 how can country progress when farmers are attacked with tear gas shells   asks mamata banerjee
"How Can Country Progress When Farmers Are Attacked With Tear Gas Shells", Asks Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: As police fired tear gas shells at farmers at the Shambhu border between Haryana and Punjab while they marched towards Delhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioned how the country could progress if farmers fighting for their basic rights are being attacked.

"How can our country progress when the farmers are attacked with tear gas shells for fighting for their basic rights? I strongly condemn the brutal assault on our farmers by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)," Banerjee said in a post on 'X'.

Condemning the central government, the Trinamool Congress supremo said that the BJP's failure to support farmers and labourers exposes their illusion of 'Viksit Bharat' (Developed India).

"The Central Govt.'s failure to support farmers and labourers, coupled with futile PR stunts, exposes the illusion of 'Viksit Bharat.' Instead of suppressing their protest, BJP must focus on humbling their inflated egos, power-hungry ambitions, and inadequate governance that has harmed our nation,"

Expressing solidarity for the farmers' cause, Banerjee said that farmers sustain even the high and mighty.

"Remember, it's these farmers who sustain us all, including the high and mighty. Let's stand in solidarity with our farmers against the government's brutality," she said.
Meanwhile, the Haryana police detained several protesting farmers as they marched towards Delhi on Tuesday. The protesting farmers were seen attempting to break the multi-layered barricades using their tractors and hand weapons.

Scenes of chaos filled the Shambhu border as the police tried to stop the protestors from entering the national capital. Visuals from the border showed farmers running towards nearby farmland on the sides of the road as police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protestors.

Concrete slabs, iron nails, barricades, barbed wires, police and paramilitary personnel were deployed by the police at several parts of the border.

The farmers have put forth 12 demands before the central government for which they're marching to Delhi. The protest this time has been called by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee led by farmer union leaders Jagjeet Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher.

According to the protesting farmers, the centre promised them better crop prices after which they ended the 2021 protest. They are demanding to enact a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission report.

They are also demanding a complete debt waiver and a scheme to provide pensions to farmers and farm labourers.

The farmers have also urged to scrap the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and are demanding to reintroduce the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, ensuring consent from farmers and compensation at 4 times the collector rate.

Further, they are demanding to punish those involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings.
An appeal to provide 200 days of employment per year and a daily wage of Rs 700 under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) linking it with farming has also been made by the farmers.

Also, they have demanded compensation to the families of farmers who died during the protests in 2021 and a job for any family member has been put in place.

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