Monday, April 19, 2021

100 days of farm laws protest: Farmers block major expressways. See pictures

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The farmers’ protest against the three new farm laws completed 100 days on Saturday. The three borders of the national capital- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – have been the main locations of the protest where farmers from all across the country had come and settled to protest against the Centre until the laws are repealed.

To mark the 100th day of the landmark protest, protesting farmers’ unions decided to observe March 6 as the ‘Black Day’. As part of the protest, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha called for the blocking of the KMP (Kundli–Manesar–Palwal) expressway or the western peripheral for five hours between 11am and 4pm.

Here is how the road blockade is going on:

Farmers block Western Peripheral Expressway near Rohtak.(Sanjeev Verma/ SNN)
Farmers block Western Peripheral Expressway near Rohtak.(Sanjeev Verma/ SNN)

Even with several rounds of talks between the farmers’ representatives and the government, deadlock still persists. No conclusion has come out of the talks and the farmers are adamant on their demand of withdrawing the three contentious laws.

Women protesting on KMP expressway.(Sanjeev Verma/ SNN)
Women protesting on KMP expressway.(Sanjeev Verma/ SNN)

Women too have been a part of the movement since its beginning. As the protest entered its 100th day, women in large numbers came forward to continue the protest by taking part in blocking the KMP expressway.

The protest has “reinforced the identity of women farmers”. “Women farmers have been able to assert themselves and make their presence and participation felt,” PTI quoted Kavitha Kuruganti of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee as saying.

Ghaziabad farmers shut down easteran peripheral expressway in Dasna.(Sakib Ali/ SNN)
Ghaziabad farmers shut down easteran peripheral expressway in Dasna.(Sakib Ali/ SNN)

Farmers have also blocked the eastern peripheral expressway in Ghaziabad to observe the ‘Black Day’. Farmers have been concerned that the laws will take away the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and will do away with the ‘mandi’ system as well. One of their demands is a legal guarantee of MSP.

Protesting farmers on KMP expressway.(Sanjeev Verma/ SNN)
Protesting farmers on KMP expressway.(Sanjeev Verma/ SNN)

Protesting farmers are marching on the KMP expressway with the flag of the farmers’ unions to agitate against the laws. Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday accused the government of introducing the laws for the benefits of its corporate friends and said that the government is working as the puppets of the businessmen. He also highlighted that the godowns were built first and the laws came after.

“The government is working as a puppet in the hands of industrialists, the government is doing what the traders are telling them. Godowns were built first, laws were made later,” Tikait’s tweet, in Hindi, read.

The farmers from all across the country, mainly from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act passed by Parliament last year.

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