The longstanding issues of farmers’ compensation and the withdrawal of cases against them relating to incidents during the 2020-21 farm agitation will be resolved soon, according to top government reports.
The top leadership has directed the chief ministers of BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to work out the kinks, according to sources.
The farmers’ protest, which began in late 2020, lasted most of 2021. Three laws passed the previous year, calling it ‘agricultural reforms’ by the Centre government but the protesters called it as an anti-farmer.’
While the agitation was mostly concentrated in and around Delhi, there were sporadic protests in other parts of the country as well. Many protesters were killed during the movement, and there was also some violence and law violations, which resulted in FIRs being filed against some protesters in a few states.
Finally, in late November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the three laws would be repealed. On December 11, the farmers celebrated their ‘victory’ and returned to their homes after a year of protests.
According to sources, both chief ministers have been directed to remove any impediments and compensate the deserving as soon as possible. They were also asked to seek legal advice and withdraw cases against the farmers in order to fulfil the promises made by the Centre before the protests were called off.
While repealing the three farm laws, the government promised in writing to meet the protesters’ demands: a committee to resolve the dispute over minimum support price (MSP) for produce, the withdrawal of cases, and compensation.
A letter from the Union Home Ministry to Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a coalition of about 40 farmer unions, in December 2021 did not specify the procedures for withdrawing cases or the amount of compensation.
The letter only stated that the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had agreed to compensation in assumption, while the government of Punjab had announced its decision publicly.