Punjab farmers hoist black flag atop houses to mark six months of protest against agri laws

Farmers at several places in Punjab put up black flags atop their houses on Wednesday, joining a ‘black day’ call given by protesting farmer unions to mark six months of their agitation at Delhi borders against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws. SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also raised a black flag at his house in Badal village in Muktsar district and urged the Central government to accept the demand of protesting farmers.

In Haryana too, state BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni has appealed farmers to hoist black flags on their houses and vehicles to register their protest.

Several political parties including the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party have extended their support to the farmers’ call of observing the day as ‘black day’.

Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of protesting unions, had announced that farmers will observe May 26 as ‘black day’ to mark the completion of six months of their protest.

At some places in Punjab, farmers also took out a protest march carrying black flags and raising slogans against the Union government.

Similar protests were also reported from a few places in neighbouring Haryana.

“Six months have passed since the farmers’ protest at Delhi borders against the three farm legislations began,” said Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher, slamming the Central government for not scrapping the legislations.

Pandher and Gurnam Singh Chaduni said that besides hoisting black flags at houses and vehicles, effigies of the BJP-led Union government will also be burnt.

Farmer bodies have appealed to all sections including the labourers, the youth, the jobless, traders and shopkeepers to raise black flags at their homes, shops and industrial establishments.

They have also asked people to put up black flags on their cars, motorbikes, tractors, trucks and other vehicles.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted, “As #KisanAndolan completes 6 months today, I again urge the Centre to deal compassionately with farmers & repeal the black laws. Have hoisted a #BlackFlag atop my Badal residence today & likewise @Akali_Dal_ leaders & workers have done the same observing #Black_Day_Of_Farmers.”

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had on Tuesday once again urged the central government to restart the dialogue process with protesting farmers.

“The farmers’ movement near Delhi’s borders has completed six months and a large number of farmers have left their families and are sitting at the borders. In such a situation, I again urge the government to hold talks with protesting farmers with a positive mindset,” he had said in a statement.

Farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders since November last year demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops.

However, the government has maintained the laws are pro-farmer.

Several rounds of talks between farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock over the three Central legislations.

A government panel had met farmer leaders on January 22. There has been no talks between the two sides since January 26 when the farmers’ tractor rally in the national capital turned violent.

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