Farmers March to Block Delhi-Jaipur Highway on Sunday: Latest Events | India News
Farmers have been protesting for 18 days demanding that the Center repeal the three agricultural laws passed by Parliament in September amid strong protests from opposition parties.
These are the highlights:
- Farmers prevented the collection of fees at toll plazas in Haryana and parts of western UP on Saturday, the 17th day of protest at the Delhi borders.
- Farmers’ leaders have announced that they will be observing a one-day hunger strike on December 14, if the government does not give in to their demands.
- While the heads of the 32 agricultural organizations will sit fasting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the President of BKU (Chadauni), Gurmeet Singh Chadauni, said that he would start an indefinite hunger strike starting on December 19, the day of martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
- On Saturday, during a demonstration to express solidarity with agitated farmers in India, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian embassy in the United States was defaced and vandalized by certain “Khalistani elements,” the embassy said.
- The Indian embassy in its statement said it “strongly condemns this malicious act of hooligans disguised as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice.”
- The Chilla border was opened to Noida-Delhi traffic on Saturday night for the first time since December 1. The Delhi-Noida road was vacated earlier in the week. Link Road’s Noida-Delhi lanes were opened on Saturday after farmers’ meeting with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
- The protesters will remain in place, but will be confined to the center edge and one lane on the Noida-Delhi road.
- Farmers protesting at the Dalit Prerna Sthal shaved their heads on Saturday despite a brief rain. They said they were watching the funeral of the three farm bills. A Clear will be held and on December 23 and a bhog will be organized.
- On a cold Saturday morning that saw some rain, farmers protesting on the Singhu border had to find different ways to keep warm. So, while the younger ones played cricket, the older farmers lit bonfires or bundled up with blankets.
- Mobile phones are the only way for farmers to stay connected with their families in the village. To recharge their mobile phones, farmers have come up with novel ways and are using solar panels and plugs on their tractors to recharge the batteries.
Why are farmers protesting?
The three farm laws are expected to bring “reforms” to the agricultural sector by eliminating middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their products anywhere in the country. Farmers are concerned that these laws will remove the Minimum Livelihood Price (MSP) safety net and remove the mandi that ensure profits. But the government says the MSP system will continue and the new laws will give farmers more options to sell their crops.
Farmers from different parts of the country, including Haryana and Punjab, have been camping at various border points in Delhi for two weeks to demand the repeal of these laws.
They have rejected a government offer to amend farm laws and provide a “written guarantee” on the continuation of the MSP system.
(With inputs from agencies)