The Supreme Court today acknowledged the right of farmers to non-violent protests and suggested the Centre to put on hold the implementation of three contentious farm laws as it was thinking of setting up an "impartial and independent" panel of agriculture experts and farmer unions to resolve the impasse.
The top court was also of the view that the farmers' right to protest should not infringe the fundamental rights of others to move freely and in getting essential food and other supplies as the right to protest cannot mean blockade of the entire city, PTI reported.
The court has issued notice to the Centre as well as the Delhi, Punjab and Haryana governments and said they will have to respond by tomorrow before winter vacation begins.
Here are the Highlights on farmers' protests:
Farmers continued their agitation near the Rajasthan-Haryana border on the Jaipur-Delhi highway on Thursday, keeping the road partially blocked, PTI reported.
Another group of farmers reached Noida on Thursday and attempted to move to Delhi to join the bigger stir against the new central farm laws but were prohibited by police deployed in a large number near the Chilla border, PTI reported.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday held a meeting with Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar amid the ongoing farmers' agitation, PTI reported.
Amid continued farmers' protest across various states in India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajasthan President, Satish Poonia, on Thursday said that the state's farmers are still waiting for their loans to be written off.
The senior leader, while pointing out that the Ashok Gehlot government had completed two years, stated that it was yet to provide relief to the farmers.
"This government, in my opinion, has failed economically. Rajasthan farmers are still waiting for their loans to be written off. Unemployed people are also waiting for some compensation," the leader told ANI.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today expressed grief over the death of Sikh preacher Sant Ram Singh. "Extremely shocked and saddened on learning the tragic news of Sant Ram Singh ji of Nanaksar Singhra wale from Karnal ending his life at Singhu Border in protest against the Centre's Farm Laws. My prayers are with his family and supporters in this time of grief," he said in a tweet.
Police said Ram Singh allegedly died by suicide near the Singhu border on Wednesday. A handwritten note in Punjabi, purportedly left behind by the Ram Singh, says he was unable to bear the "pain of farmers". The note is being verified by the police.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address farmers in Madhya Pradesh tomorrow as massive farmer protests near Delhi against three central laws continue unabated.
The Prime Minister's address at 2 pm will be via video link and will be telecast to around 23,000 villages, officials said.
The government's latest outreach comes amid strong remarks by the Supreme Court, which is hearing multiple petitions on the farmer protests on highways near Delhi.
"We acknowledge the farmers have the right to protest. We will not interfere. We will ask the centre if the manner of protests can be altered to ensure citizen's rights are not violated either," the Supreme Court said today. Read
"We wish to facilitate the talks we are thinking of independent and impartial committee both sides can talk and protests can go on. Panel can give its suggestions. Protests must not stop transport and should not damage properties," CJI Bobde said.
"There is protest going on. It is constitutional as long it goes peacful and not destroy properties. The protest has a purpose which can not be achieved by sitting. It has to talk to Govt and each other," CJI SA Bobde said on the protest.
There was disruption of traffic movement on key routes in the national capital on Thursday, the 22nd day of the farmers'' protest to demand for the repeal of the three new agri marketing laws.
Farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points have led to closure of several routes in Delhi.
According to the city police, Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Sabholi and Mangesh borders are closed. Commuters have been advised to take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad and Singhu school toll tax borders, while traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road, they said.
A farmer from Punjab protesting near the Delhi-Haryana border died early this morning, allegedly because of the bitter cold. The 37-year-old man, a father of three, was found dead at a site where thousands of farmers have been protesting for 22 days against central farm laws.
The farmer had three children of ages 10, 12 and 14, according to reports that suggested he died of the freezing cold.
Reports of the death emerged hours after a Sikh priest died by suicide near the epicenter of the protests at the Delhi-Haryana border. Baba Ram Singh, a priest from a Gurdwara in Haryana, had strongly supported the protests and left a note saying he was "angry and pained" at the government's injustice. Read
Jai Singh, a farmer who was protesting at Delhi's Tikri border, died today. The reason of death is suspected to be extreme cold weather in the national capital.
Protesting farmer unions Wednesday said constituting a new panel to break the stalemate on the three new agri laws, as indicated by the Supreme Court, is not a solution as they want a complete withdrawal of the legislations.
They also said the government should have formed a committee of farmers and others before the laws were enacted by Parliament.
Their assertions came after the Supreme Court indicated earlier in the day that it may form a panel having representatives of the government and farmer unions to resolve the deadlock. Read
The priest of a Gurdwara from Haryana, Baba Ram Singh, who joined the farmers' protest, has died by suicide; he had shot himself. The 65-year-old was at the Delhi-Sonipat border at Kundli, where he reached on Tuesday evening. The area is 2 km from the Singhu border, the epicentre of farmers' protest, which is now on its 21st day. In a note, he said he was sacrificing his life "to express anger and pain against the government's injustice".
"I feel the pain of farmers fighting to ensure their rights... I share their pain because the government is not doing justice to them. To inflict injustice is a sin, but it is also a sin to tolerate injustice. To support farmers, some have returned their awards to the government. I have decided to sacrifice myself," read the note he left. Read