Friday, April 12, 2024

Farmers’ protest enters Day 100: 136-km KMP expressway blocked as protesters observe ‘Black Day’

Photo courtesy to Sandeep Singh

Farmers who have been protesting for months against the Narendra Modi government’s new agricultural laws blocked a major highway outside New Delhi on Saturday to mark the 100th day of the ongoing agitation.

Hundreds of vehicles were stopped leaving commuters stranded as agitating farmers blocked the six-lane Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway at some places in Haryana to mark the completion of 100 days of their agitation at the Delhi borders.

The 136-km Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway is also known as the western peripheral expressway.

The protest, which began at 11 am, would continue till 4 pm.

The protesting farmers’ unions have asserted that the chakka jam will be peaceful.

To block the KMP Expressway, farmers in Haryana’s Sonipat brought their tractor-trolleys and parked them in the middle of a stretch of the expressway, resulting in traffic congestion. Protesters, carrying black flags, also shouted slogans against the Narendra Modi government.

https://twitter.com/PunYaab/status/1368122551398932486?s=19

“We will block the KMP expressway. However, emergency vehicles will be allowed,” Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) General Secretary Jagmohan Singh said.

https://twitter.com/PunYaab/status/1368121919090790400?s=19

Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation of various farmer bodies has also given a call to free the toll plazas near the highways, and wave black flags from offices and residences across the country.

“We are completely prepared,” Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, who is among the leaders at the forefront of the movement, told PTI. “Unless and until the government listens to us and meets our demands, we will not move from here.”

Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest along Delhi borders. The protest started on November 26, 2020. The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate. The farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming.

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