As farmers’ protest in India against the three contentious farm laws on Saturday entered the eighth straight month, thousands of farmers from Haryana and Punjab embarked on a march towards Chandigarh, officials said.
The farmers from Haryana will enter Chandigarh, the capital of the two neighboring states, from the Panchkula side, and those from Punjab have arrived after breaking police barricades and facing water cannons. Farmers from the two states intend to submit memorandums to their respective state governors seeking a repeal of the new, controversial farm laws.
The farmers’ protest until Saturday has lasted for seven months and so far no breakthrough has been achieved. Both the federal government and the protesting farmers have been adamant on their respective positions. On the borders of the national capital, protesting farmers have been camping since November 26 last year.
Police in Delhi on Saturday tightened security arrangements along the city borders in view of anticipated protest march by farmers.
Authorities have shut down three main stations of the Delhi Metro for four hours on Saturday. “As advised by Delhi Police, in view of security reasons, three Metro stations of Yellow Line namely, Vishwavidyalaya, Civil Lines and Vidhan Sabha will remain closed for public from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow,” the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said in a statement Friday.
The protesting farmers have planned for a march to state governor’s offices in different states on Saturday. “We’ll submit memorandums to governors across the country today.
The movement will remain peaceful,” a local news agency quoted Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) youth wing president Gaurav Tikait as having said. Reports said thousands of farmers from Saharanpur and Sisauli in western Uttar Pradesh reached the Ghazipur gate led by BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.
India’s federal agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday said farmers should end their agitation against the new agricultural laws.
“I want to tell all the farmers union people that they should end their agitation. The government of India is also ready to discuss and redress any provision of law,” the minister said.Singh had chaired 11 inconclusive rounds of talks with protesting farmers.
Farmers have been protesting against the three newly enacted farm laws — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.