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Indian Farmers End Year-Long Protest as Government Promises to Meet Their Demands

© REUTERS / ANUSHREE FADNAVISFILE PHOTO: Farmers and protesters pull a blockade using tractor during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws on the occasion of India's Republic Day at Tikri border near New Delhi, India, January 26, 2021
FILE PHOTO: Farmers and protesters pull a blockade using tractor during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws on the occasion of India's Republic Day at Tikri border near New Delhi, India, January 26, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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On 1 December, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed a bill to repeal a set of controversial farm laws that prompted tens of thousands to rally on the outskirts of New Delhi. The decision to withdaw the laws was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month after a year of farmer protests.
Indian farmers, who have been protesting against controversial farm liberalisation laws for over a year, have announced that they will end their protest on 11 December.
The farmers said they've received a letter from the government of India, with promises of forming a committee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and withdrawing cases against them immediately.
The bill to repeal the controversial farm laws was approved on the first day of the Winter Session without discussion.The legislative process was accompanied by the grumbling of opposition lawmakers, trying to force discussion of a new bill and causing several interruptions.
In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government had decided to roll back all three controversial laws.
The three laws were: 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; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020.
However, despite Modi's decision the farmers continued their protest, saying they they would keep demonstrating until the government agreed to enact an MSP law. Apart from the law on MSP, the union also pressed for compensation for the families of the farmers who lost their life during the protest and withdrawal of police cases against the farmers.
Indian farmers have been rallying on the outskirts of Delhi since November 2020. They were demanding that the laws, which are aimed at taking away concessions from the Indian agricultural sector, be withdrawn to protect their interests. They feared the legislation would cancel the government-assured minimal purchase price, among other changes that farmers were concerned would leave them vulnerable to potential abuse by private businesses.
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