SariAgri – Indian farmers have again taken to the streets to protest against three new agricultural laws. They will begin a sit-in near parliament in the centre of the capital New Delhi to pressure the government to repeal a law that threatens farmers’ livelihoods.
Farmers’ protests against the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been a long time coming. In fact, tens of thousands of farmers have been camping on the main highway to New Delhi for more than seven months.
As India’s parliamentary monsoon session began this week, some protesting farmers tried to march towards the government’s main district, but they were stopped by police just a few miles from parliament.
Media reported on Thursday that about 200 protesters will gather at Jantar Mantar, a large Mughal-era observatory in downtown New Delhi that doubles as a protest site for a variety of reasons.
“Throughout the monsoon session of parliament, 200 farmers will go to Jantar Mantar every day to hold a farmers’ parliament to remind the government of our long overdue demand,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, a prominent farmer leader.
After extended negotiations, Delhi police allowed 200 farmers to gather during the day in Jantar Mantar, but protesters had to follow coronavirus health protocols issued by delhi’s Disaster Management Authority.
In late January, thousands of angry farmers clashed with police after driving their tractors into a safety barrier. One protester was killed, and more than 80 police officers were injured across the city.
The government says the law, introduced in September 2020, will exempt farmers from having to sell their products only in regulated wholesale markets. Farmers will also benefit if wholesalers, retailers and food processors can buy directly from producers.