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Farmers protest LIVE updates: Amid protests, farmers open makeshift gym on Singhu border

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Delhi Police have beefed up security at several border points by deploying more personnel and putting up multi-layered barricades as farmers block the Delhi-Jaipur highway today. The protests against the new agricultural reforms of the central government entered on the 18th. The protesting farmers said that the main roads linking Delhi will be blocked from today and added that they would go on hunger strike on Monday. But they allowed the reopening of the Chilla highway on the Noida border on Saturday night, authorities told the PTI news agency.

The following events come after the leaders of farmers’ groups rejected the Center’s offer to amend the agricultural reforms and said they would settle for nothing less than the removal of the reforms. Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in an interview with the Hindustan Times said the Center was ready for talks and hoped that the real farmers’ unions would come forward to find a solution through dialogue. At least five rounds of talks between farmers and union ministers have been held and have been inconclusive.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the annual meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Saturday, defended the reforms saying they would help attract investment in the agricultural sector and benefit the farmers. The new legislation, which was approved in the previous session of parliament, gives farmers an additional option outside of designated mandi to buy or sell their crops, he added.

Follow the live updates from Day 18 of the Farmers’ Agitation:

Amid protests, farmers open makeshift gym on Singhu border

Farmers protesting on the Singhu border in the national capital opened a gym and invited others to use the facilities. “We have brought all the equipment from the gym and until the moment the central government does not agree with our demand, we will exercise only in this place,” Jaspreet Singh, a farmer told the ANI news agency.

Khalistan supporters vandalize Mahatma Gandhi statue in America

Khalistani supporters smashed the statue of Mahatma Gandhi during a protest organized by young Sikh-Americans in support of farmers who have been protesting agricultural reforms in India. The Indian Embassy condemned the “malicious act” of the hooligans disguised as protesters.

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