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Farmers' Protest: UN Human Rights calls for 'maximum restraint' by govt, protesters

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New Delhi, Feb 05: The United Nations Human Rights office on Friday exercising 'maximum restraint' by the government and the protestors, amid renewed international attention on the two-month-long farmers' protest in India.

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"We call on the authorities and protesters to exercise maximum restraint in ongoing farmers' protests. The rights to peaceful assembly and expression should be protected both offline and online. It's crucial to find equitable solutions with due respect to human rights for all," the UN Human Rights's official Twitter handle said in a tweet.

Earlier, talks between the government and 41 protesting farm unions have remained inconclusive even after multiple rounds of discussions. During the 10th round of talks, the central government had climbed down and offered a proposal to keep the new laws in abeyance for 1-1.5 years, but it was rejected by the unions.

Protesting farmers are demanding repeal of the farm laws.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha spearheading the agitation against the farm laws had said on Saturday that there was no question of closing the door on talks with the government.

Farmers at Ghazipur plant flowers in response to 'iron nails'

The farmer union''s statement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told an all-party meeting last week that his government''s offer on agri laws made to the protesting farmers "still stands" and it was a "phone call away" for talks.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi''s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the rollback of 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. The protest took a violent turn during the farmers'' tractor rally on January 26 during Republic Day.

Enacted in September last year, the central government has presented these laws as major farm reforms aimed at increasing farmers'' income, but the protesting farmers have raised concerns that these legislations would weaken the minimum support price (MSP) and "mandi" (wholesale market) systems by leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

The government has maintained that these apprehensions are misplaced and ruled out a repeal of the laws.

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