Farmers' leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal on Monday alleged that many agriculturists, who were coming from other states including Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh to support the 'Delhi Chalo' march, have been detained and sought their release.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that more than 200 farm unions would march to Delhi on February 13 to press the Centre to accept several demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
Dallewal claimed that several farmers coming from Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, owing allegiance to SKM have been detained in Bhopal.
"On one side, they (the Centre) are holding dialogues with us and on the other hand, they are detaining our people. Then how will this dialogue take place?" said Dallewal, who is the SKM leader. "We have told the government that it should release our persons. The government needs to create a positive atmosphere for dialogue," he further said. "If the government is saying that it is positive, the farmers are more positive (for dialogue). We do not have any intention to indulge in a ruckus and cause any damage. We are such people who hold peaceful protests," said Dallewal, who is the president of Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur).
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Dallewal said farmers' leaders will hold their meeting at 3 pm at Amb Sahib in Mohali. Dallewal slammed the Haryana government for making heavy security arrangements at the Punjab-Haryana borders and "harassing" farmers who wanted to join the 'Delhi Chalo' march. On the one side the government is holding dialogue with farmers and on the other hand heavy barricading has been done at the Punjab-Haryana borders, he said.
A team of three Union ministers on Monday will hold a meeting of a deputation of farmers' leaders who have planned to head towards Delhi as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march.
Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai will arrive in Chandigarh on Monday to hold a second round of talks with farmers' leaders to discuss their demands.
The meeting will be held at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration in Sector 26 at 5 pm.
The first meeting with the three Union ministers was held on February 8 in which detailed discussion with the leaders of farmers' organisations which planned 'Delhi Chalo' march to press for their demands, including a law to guarantee a minimum support price for crops, took place.
Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
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