Massive Farmer Protests In Punjab, Haryana, Parts Of UP Over 3 Bills

  • | Friday | 25th September, 2020

New Delhi: Highways and railway tracks have been blocked, state borders have been sealed at certain points and additional police forces have been deployed as thousands of farmers launch fierce protests against the controversial farm bills. The farmers have warned the government that their agitations will intensify unless the bills are repealed. Opposition parties like the Congress, the RJD and the Trinamool, as well as 10 central trade unions, have voiced their support for the farmers. Faced with ferocious protests nationwide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again hailed the farm bills as "historic" and hit out at the opposition for misleading the farmers for political gain.

New Delhi: Highways and railway tracks have been blocked, state borders have been sealed at certain points and additional police forces have been deployed as thousands of farmers launch fierce protests against the controversial farm bills. The farmers have warned the government that their agitations will intensify unless the bills are repealed. Opposition parties like the Congress, the RJD and the Trinamool, as well as 10 central trade unions, have voiced their support for the farmers. Faced with ferocious protests nationwide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again hailed the farm bills as "historic" and hit out at the opposition for misleading the farmers for political gain.

The government has said the bills will help farmers get better prices by allowing them to sell their produce at markets and prices of their choice. Farmers, however, fear the loss of the price support system (MSP) and the entry of private players who, they say, will put small and marginal farmers at risk.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

1.   Addressing a virtual meeting of BJP leaders today, the Prime Minister said the BJP-led NDA had created history. Small and marginal farmers would benefit most from the reforms, the Prime Minister said. He also hit out at the opposition for "misleading" farmers, and said: "Those who lied to farmers are shooting from their shoulders".

2.   Despite the Prime Minister`s (repeated) assurances, large numbers of farmers across India are unconvinced. Massive protests have broken out in Punjab and Haryana (states known as the grain bowls of India) as well as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and even Karnataka.

3.   A "complete shutdown" of Punjab has been called for by the 31 farmers` groups protesting in the state under the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) banner. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said the Congress-led state government supports the farmers and no FIRs will be registered for violation of prohibitory orders.

4.   The Punjab-Haryana border has been sealed near Ambala - a key border crossing. Police barricades have also been set up at the NH-1 toll plaza at the Ladowal Toll Plaza in Ludhiana and police in Chandigarh are on high alert. Farmers groups have also begun protesting along the Faridkot-Kotkapura highway.The Delhi-Amritsar highway has been blocked near Jalandhar by farmers from the BKU and the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India.

5.   Meanwhile, the "rail roko" that began in Amritsar yesterday will continue today, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti has said. The group also hit out at BJP workers who were spreading "rumours" that the protesting farmers would engage in violence. They also criticised political parties for caring only about Assembly elections due next year. They do not care about the farmers, the group said.

6.   Farmers also gathered along a key road in Uttar Pradesh`s Noida (which borders national capital Delhi), prompting deployment of police in riot gear to keep them from crossing the border. Around 200 farmers were stopped in Noida`s Sector 14A, officials said.

7.   In parts of Uttar Pradesh, escalating protests against the bills have led to the Ayodhya-Lucknow highway being blocked. Farmers have also blocked the Delhi-Meerut highway near Ghaziabad to protest against the bills. Farmers from the state`s Kheri district have also gathered in protest.

8.   In poll-bound Bihar, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav took part in a tractor rally to protest the farm bills. In visuals shared by news agency ANI, the RJD chief can be seen slowly driving a blue tractor down a main road in Patna as a large crowd of farmers, marshalled by armed policemen, march alongside.

9.   In the south, members of the Karnataka State Farmers` Association held a protest near Bommanahalli on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu highway. Around 250 farmers have been taken into preventive custody at Mysore Bank Circle in Bengaluru. In Tamil Nadu, farmers from the National South Indian River Interlinking Farmers` Association protested in Trichy with human skulls, chained hands and nooses tied around their necks.

10.                     Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi both, of whom have been active in the criticism of the bills, tweeted again today. Mrs Gandhi Vadra said: "They (the farmers) will be forced to become slaves of trillions through contract farming." Mr Gandhi said: "... The new agriculture laws will enslave our farmers".



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