Indian farmers, who are protesting against the three contentious farm laws for three months now, launched a nationwide road blockade on Saturday. The blockading, which continued for three hours, started around 12:00 noon local time, and there was news of farmers blocking several important roads in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. There were scattered agitations and road blockades reported in other states such as Odisha and Karnataka. Many farmers were reported protesting and sloganeering against the government in small groups. The ‘Kisan Ekta Morcha’, which represents the farmers’ unions, also tweeted about the peaceful road blockade that was conducted. They also ensured that emergency services and ambulance services will not be blocked in the protests.
A prominent farmer union’s leader ‘Rakesh Tiktait’ has declared that the farmer protests against the laws will continue till October 2, giving a deadline to the government. He also said that this movement aims to connect every farmer and their village with the agitation. Tiktait and other farmers were seen sowing seeds and flowers at the location where the police have planted nails on the roads to block the farmers’ vehicles from entering.
Internet Suspended and Security Beefed up for Road Blockade
The police in and around the capital borders beefed up the security, and the Delhi Metro stations at ten prominent locations in the capital were closed ahead of the road blockade. Many protestors were also taken into custody, and the internet is suspended in the Delhi border areas such as Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri till Saturday midnight.
Indian farmers were camping on the outskirts of the national capital ‘New Delhi’ since November 26 last year. However, the farmers’ unions and the government have also conducted several rounds of talks for negotiations but have not yet reached an amicable solution. The farmers demand nothing less than the total repeal of the three farm laws. According to the farmers, the laws are unjust and take away the farmers’ security. The farmers have alleged that the government is exploiting the farmers through these laws and benefitting the private players who will take advantage of the farmer’s condition.
Image via TwitterThe top court of India also decided to hold the laws until the farmers and the government reach a negotiation, but the farmers did not pay heed. The government offered to suspend the laws for 18 months, but the farmer unions only want a total repeal of the laws.
Farmer’s Tractor Rally on January 26 caused Rampage
Earlier, the farmers had conducted a tractor rally in the capital on January 26, 2021, on Republic Day. They were allowed entry into the capital by the Delhi Police, however many groups wreaked havoc in the capital, which resulted in multiple clashes between the police and the farmers. One person was killed, while several were injured in the Republic Day rampage. After the protests went berserk, the farmer unions condemned the riots and stated that they will not go back and the protests will continue.
Image via TwitterUnited Nations also tweeted to call upon authorities in India to practice maximum restraint and reach out to find equitable solutions. With the farmers’ protests growing in the country and even globally, there has been an unsaid division in the society, with one section supporting the farm laws of the government while the other supporting the farmers against the laws. The protests took an international turn when American pop star Rihanna tweeted in support of farmers on Tuesday. In addition, child activist ‘Greta Thunberg’ and the U.S. vice President’s niece ‘Meena Harris’ also supported the farmers in their individual tweets. While the farmers are in no mood to end their agitation, the government is equally adamant and does not intend to repeal the controversial laws anytime soon.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org