Farmers to mark their 100 days of protest against the three controversial farm laws started a gathering on Saturday with the intention of blocking a six-lane expressway outside Delhi for creating a pressure on the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
Both the young ad old farmers have been moving with cars, trucks and tractors to reach the highway for a five-hour blockade as a step to oppose against the three agricultural laws mentioning about the hurt they felt when agricultural sector was pushed towards the private players.
Modi has termed the reforms as the need of the hour and termed the protests as politically driven. Amarjeet Singh, a farmer from Punjab said, “The Modi government has turned this protest movement into an ego issue. They are unable to see the pain of the farmers. They have left us no option but to protest.”
Thousands of farmers have been protesting along the Delhi borders amid the bitter cold with the demand of revoking the farm laws, which has gained international attention and support, particularly from US popstar Rihanna and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The protests have generally been peaceful with the exception of the violence triggered on January 26, and the police have lodged complaint against eight journalists for misreporting the proceedings of the day.
In a statement in February, the Human Rights Watch said, “The Indian authorities’ response to protests has focused on discrediting peaceful protesters, harassing critics of the government, and prosecuting those reporting on the events.”
Delhi’s climate will switch further to hot summers, but farmers have still been firm and revealed on Saturday that they have no intention to head back till the laws are revoked.
Raja Singh, a 58-year old farmer from Punjab said, “Bitter cold didn’t affect our movement, and neither will deathly heat.”
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