'Need law to punish those buying crops below MSP'

Need law to punish those buying crops below MSP: BKU (Lok Shakti)

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members during a protest against the Centre's new farm laws, at Ghazipur border, New Delhi, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

 A Bharatiya Kisan Union faction on Monday demanded a new law for punishing those who buy farmers’ crops at rates below the minimum support price. The BKU (Lok Shakti) raised the new demand over and above the farmers’ existing demand to repeal the three recent farm laws of the Centre.

The BKU (Lok Shakti) activists are presently camping at the Dalit Prerna Sthal near here, while those of the BKU (Bhanu) are on an indefinite sit-in at the Delhi-Noida’s Chilla border since the first week of December in support of the demand to repeal the three farm laws.

The protestors include farmers from various districts of western Uttar Pradesh like Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Firozabad, and want to move to Delhi to join the larger congregations of protesting farmers from Punjab and Haryana at various border points of Delhi.

With the two groups of BKU factions holding protests at the Noida-Delhi Link Road, the traffic movement on this key road has remained obstructed.

According to police officials, “The Noida to Delhi carriageway is closed but the Delhi to Noida carriageway was open for commuters. Other routes like DND and Kalindi Kunj between Delhi and Noida are open.”

There was no law and order situation at the Delhi-Noida border due to the demonstrations, a senior police officer said, adding a large number of personnel remains deployed at Chilla border.

“Today, more of our supporters, including office-bearers, have joined us from Bijnor at the Dalit Prerna Sthal on the call of BKU (Lok Shakti) chief Master Sheoraj Singh,” the union's spokesperson Shailesh Kumar Giri said.

“We will not end our protest until the three new farm laws are repealed and the MSP is made legally-binding. Besides this, there should be a new law to ensure legal action against those who buy crops at rates below the MSP,” Giri said, addressing the scores of protestors.

He said his faction's protest will continue in a peaceful and Gandhian way until the demands are met by the Centre. Meanwhile, in a separate protest, hundreds of supporters of the local Bharatiya Kisan Sangathan (BKS) gathered outside the Noida Authority office in Sector 6 here.

These farmers are protesting to demand the disposal of 'aabaadi' land, 10 per cent plots and 64.7 per cent additional compensation as ordered by the Allahabad High Court for the acquisition of their land by the Noida Authority.

“The protestors remained outside the Authority's office for around four hours and were dispersed after that. There was no law and order issue,” the police officer said.

Thousands of farmers are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against 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) Act, 2020.

They have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

The government, however, has been maintaining that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

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