NEW DELHI, July 22. (Reuters) – Indian farmers protesting three new agricultural laws that they say threaten their livelihoods will go on a sit-in outside parliament in downtown New Delhi to pressure the government again to repeal it. laws.
In the longest producer protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, tens of thousands of farmers have camped on major highways to New Delhi for more than seven months.
When the Seasonal Session of the Indian Parliament kicked off this week, some farmer protesters tried to head towards the main government district but were stopped by police just a few miles from Parliament.
On Thursday, 200 protesters will gather at Jantar Mantar, a large Mughal observatory in downtown New Delhi that serves as a platform for protests for a variety of reasons.
“During the seasonal session of parliament, 200 farmers will travel to Jantar Mantar every day to hold a farmers’ meeting to remind the government of our long-awaited demand,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, one of the leading farmers.
The monsoon session of parliament will end in early August.
The government said in a statement that after lengthy negotiations, Delhi police agreed to allow 200 farmers to gather during the day in Jantar Mantar, but protesters must follow the coronavirus guidelines issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.
In late January, thousands of angry farmers clashed with police after driving tractors into security barriers. One protester was killed and over 80 police officers were injured throughout the city. read more
Farmers say the laws favor large private retailers who, prior to the new laws, were not allowed to purchase agricultural commodities outside state-regulated wholesale grain markets. read more
The government says laws passed in September 2020 will free farmers from having to sell their produce only in regulated wholesale markets.
It argues that farmers will benefit if large traders, retailers and food industries can buy food directly from producers.
Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Edited by Michael Perry
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.