The Central government will not be compensating the families of protesting ‘farmers’ who have passed away while protesting. On February 2, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, was asked in Lok Sabha if the Centre has any plans to compensate the families of the farmers who had died during farmer protests. The central government has denied plans of any such compensation.
28 Members of Parliament, including Asaduddin Owaisi, had asked in Lok Sabha if the Government is aware of the farmers’ protests. The MPs further asked if the Government is aware that protesters are falling ill or dying during the protests and if they are aware if they are keeping a record of the protesters who have fallen sick or died.
The MPs asked if the Government is planning to compensate the families of those who had died during the protests. They asked if the Government had initiated any negotiations with the farmer unions. The MPs further asked if the Government is planning to repeal the Agriculture Laws.
No compensation for the families of protesters who had died
Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, in his reply, said that they are aware of the agitation. There are some farmer unions and their members agitating against the newly enacted Agriculture Laws, he said. He further said that the Government had requested the union leaders several times to send elderly, women and children back to their homes amidst harsh weather and the Covid-19 situation.
In its reply, the minister said that the government of India is negotiating with the agitating protesters, and so far, they had eleven rounds of meetings. “Government had put forth one proposal after another to amend the farm laws. The demands of agitating farmer unions were related to the three farm Acts viz. “The Farmers” Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020″, “The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement On Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020” & “The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020″ etc.” he added.
The minister made it clear in its reply that there is no provision of any compensation for the families of protesters who had died during farmer protests. While replying to the question if Government will repeal the laws, he said that the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the Agriculture Laws until further notice.
Farmer protests and violence on Republic Day
Farmers had marched towards Delhi on November 26 2020, and since then, thousands of protesters are lodged on the borders of Delhi. The Government of India has tried several times to alleviate the situation, but the farmer unions are not listening to any proposal and demanding the Government must repeal the laws. Amidst all the mess around the newly enacted laws, the farmer unions announced they would hold a tractor rally on January 26.
The unions gave in writing to the Delhi Police that they will hold a peaceful march and will not enter Delhi, keeping security concerns in mind. However, the protesters broke all the promises they had made to the Delhi Police and entered Delhi from unauthorized routes. They barged into the Red Fort and hoisted two flags, one triangular and one rectangular with a Sikh holy symbol. When the police personnel tried to stop the protesters, they got violent and attacked the police. Several police personnel were injured during the clash. There were videos of protesters attacking police with batons and swords. Some protesters even tried to mow down the police personnel with tractors.
Both President of India and the Prime Minister of India had condemned the violence and insult of Tricolour on Republic Day by rioters. Delhi Police have registered several cases against the rioters, including farmer union leaders.