Farmers Block Expressway In Indian State Of Haryana To Protest Against Farm Laws

Above photo: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters.

Hundreds of farmers from across India have been camping out Delhi’s borders for the past four months to protest against newly introduced agricultural laws by the federal government.

While the farmers are demanding the laws, passed last September be repealed, the government has agreed to only making amendments and refused to repeal them.

Intensifying their protests against newly introduced agriculture laws, farmers blocked the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway at several places in state of Haryana on Saturday.

Several farm leaders were detained by the Haryana Police even as farmers sitting on the expressway were forcibly removed for allowing the traffic to pass. Huge jams on the highway have been seen since morning when farmers hit the expressway.

​The 136-km highway is also known as the Western Peripheral Expressway. Protesting farmers, however, allowed emergency vehicles to pass.

​The expressway was blocked on a call given by the umbrella body of protesting farmer unions, Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation against the agriculture-related agitations. Women turned out in large numbers to support the call by farm leaders for a blockade.

The federal government has refused to repeal the controversial laws, as demanded by the farmers, maintaining that the new legislation will free farmers from middlemen and give them more options to sell their crops.

The farmers, on the other hand, say the laws will weaken the minimum support price system and eventually leave them at the mercy of big corporations.

On Friday, farmer leaders had said that not even the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will deter them from protesting against the farm laws.