New Delhi – Thousands of Indian farmers block traffic on major roads and railroads outside the country’s capital on Monday, marking a year’s demonstration against government support laws they say they will destroy their lives Did.
Farmers renewed their protests by calling for a national strike on the anniversary of the bill’s enactment. The demonstrations pulled out pose one of the biggest political challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conducted a second poll in 2019.
Hundreds of farmers gathered on Monday at one of the protest sites on the edge of the capital, New Delhi, waving colorful flags and handing out free food.
“The enthusiasm we had on the first day is now much stronger and bigger,” said Mangit Singh, a 45-year-old farmer and protester.
Mohini Kaur, 61, from New Delhi, visited a protest site to show support for farmers.
“These lion-hearted farmers are here in the hot sun today. They have been exposed to rain, heat and cold,” he said.
Protesters expressed their determination to continue the movement — some even went out to camp and brought mattresses as the days went by.
Along the southwest and eastern perimeters of New Delhi, farmers protested that they were congesting highways, choking traffic and blocking access from the capital to neighboring states. Police have been deployed at three major protest sites on the outskirts of the city to maintain law and order.
A coalition of farmers’ unions, known as Samyukta Kisan Morcha or United Farmers’ Front, has called on shops, offices, factories and other agencies to close doors in solidarity for a 10-hour strike. However, the strike call seems to have been largely unanswered, and most businesses continue to work as usual throughout the capital.
The government defended the law, stating that agriculture needs to be modernized and that the law boosts production through private investment. But farmers say the new law devastates their income by ending guaranteed prices and forces them to sell their crops to businesses at lower prices.
Thousands of demonstrators also blocked highways and shut down traffic in some areas in neighboring Punjab and Haryana, the country’s two largest agricultural producers.
In eastern Bihar, trains stopped as farmers crouched on railroad tracks. Protesters also sloganed the Modi administration, burning tires, blocking roads throughout the region, and going out into the streets. Police said about 500 protesters had been detained, but added that the closure maintained peace.
Hundreds of people marched in support of protests against the government on Monday in a city in southern Bangalore. In southern Kerala, local media reported that the ruling party’s left Democratic Front demanded a complete closure.
Indian opposition parties, including the Parliamentary Party, have supported farmers. Senior leader Rahul Gandhi called the government “exploitative” and said he stood with the farmers on Monday.
Many talks between the government and farmers have failed to resolve the issue.
In November, farmers moved to the outskirts of New Delhi to camp for nearly a year, overcoming the harsh winter and the surge of coronavirus that devastated India earlier this year.
Peasant protests were largely peaceful, but January demonstrators broke through police barricades and attacked the historic Red Fort in the heart of the capital. A clash with police killed one protester and injured hundreds.
Contributed by Associated Press writer Indrajit Singh of Patna and Ijazzrahi of Bangalore.
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Indian farmers renew protests and challenge Modi government
Source link Indian farmers renew protests and challenge Modi government