Farmers Hold 100 Days of Protest Against New Farm Laws, Block Highway: Highlights | India News
Farmers block the KMP highway near Duhai to mark the 100th day of their ongoing upheaval (Credit: PTI)
NEW DELHI: Farmers protesting the Center’s three new farm laws blocked the six-lane Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Highway in parts of Haryana on Saturday to mark the end of 100 days of turmoil on the borders of Delhi.
The call to block the highway, which is also known as the Western Peripheral Expressway, was made by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a body that groups together protesting farmers’ unions and is leading the agitation against the new farm legislation. These are the main developments of the day:
Farmers end the roadblock
After a peaceful five-hour blockade, vehicular movement on the highway resumed. The peasants occupied the roads and blocked the toll plazas at various points on the highway from 11 am to 4 pm. However, they finished it half an hour before the scheduled time. Farmers staged the protest on KMP Expressway near Mandothi village in Jhajjar district. Some people from nearby towns joined them.
Black flags, tractors and slogans mark a 100-day protest
Farmers with black flags and black armbands and some female protesters in black ‘dupattas’ shouted slogans against the BJP-led government for not acceding to their demands. Protesters in Sonipat and Jhajjar districts and some other places brought their tractors-wagons and other vehicles and parked them in the middle of the KMP Highway in some sections.
Sonipat police led traffic detours
Sonipat Police Superintendent Jashandeep Singh Randhawa said arrangements were made to divert traffic. The heavy vehicles were diverted from Panipat and others from Ganaur to Delhi, authorities said. Traffic was also diverted from Murthal through the city of Sonipat to Narela and Bawana and from Bahadurgarh to Baghpat, they said. Authorities said traffic resumed on the KMP highway after farmers lifted the blockade at 4 p.m.
Dharna organized in Haryana locations
Also in the Palwal district, farmers organized a ‘dharna’. In some places in Haryana, farmers even hung black flags on the roof of their houses as a sign of their protest against the government for not repealing agricultural laws.
Why are farmers protesting?
Thousands of farmers have been protesting since the end of November on Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a roll back of the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020; Farmers Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Guarantee and Agricultural Services Law, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Protesting farmers have expressed fear that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of large corporations.
However, the government has argued that the new laws will provide better opportunities for farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.
(With inputs from agencies)