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Elderly farmers lead the way in KMP Expressway protest | India News

NEW DELHI: Braving the scorching heat, elderly farmers formed the majority of the protesters at Haryana’s Palwal toll plaza on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) highway. Many of these seniors told IANS that increased mercury will not deter them or cool their spirits.
Farmers have blocked the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway to mark the 100th day of protests against the three controversial farm laws. The measure to block the highway is part of the strategy to intensify the ongoing protest.
The tricolor fluttered above the tractors even as loudspeakers heard loud protest songs and speeches as farmers blocked the highway. Farmers also sang popular songs in Haryanvi known as ‘Ragini’.
Dressed in white dhoti-kurta and turban, elderly farmers from adjacent villages ducked on the road and blocked the Palwal toll plaza on the highway, nearly 85 kilometers from the national capital.
Speaking to IANS, 83-year-old Desh Raj from Aurangabad district said the rise in mercury will not stop him. “We are doing it for our fellow farmers. Age is just a number, we are fighting for the cause. As farmers, we are used to working in extreme temperatures.”
Another farmer said that young people are not as visible in the protests as many of them have obligations related to work or study during the day.
“We did not want their studies or work to suffer. It is our zeal that has brought us here. There are some young people and women too, but mostly older people,” said Raj Kumar from Palwal district.
However, only a handful of women could be seen at the protest site. An elderly woman with a hunchback said she is concerned about the three contentious laws.
“We voted for Narendra Modi, so you must also heed our demands. However, we have no hope,” said Mangaliya from the Atoha area, more than two kilometers from the Palwal district.
A social worker leading these women said: “Today we have blocked the KMP highway, but on March 8, women will lead the protest by blocking the national capital from all sides.”
The six-lane KMP Expressway was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2018. It has 10 toll entry and exit points, 52 underpasses and 23 overpasses. It was built to decongest Delhi’s busy roads, especially by reducing the number of trucks entering the national capital, thus helping to curb pollution.
Farmers’ agitation against the three controversial farm laws had started on November 26 last year. During these 100 days, farmers have faced harsh weather conditions, but they have stood firm in their demands.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping on the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital to demand the repeal of the three agricultural laws, enacted in September last year. .

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