July 22, 2021: Indian farmers, protesting about three new farm laws they say threaten their livelihoods, will start a sit-in demonstration near parliament in the centre of the capital New Delhi in a renewed push to pressure the government to repeal the laws.
In the longest-running growers’ protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, tens of thousands of farmers have camped out on main highways leading to New Delhi for more than seven months.
As the monsoon session of parliament began this week, some angry farmers tried to march towards the central government district but were stopped by police a few miles away.
On Thursday, 200 new protesters will gather at the Jantar Mantar, a large Mughal-era observatory in central New Delhi, which doubles as a protest site for all intents and purposes. “During the monsoon session of Parliament, 200 farmers will hold a farmers’ parliament every day at Jantar Mantar to remind the government of our long-standing demand.”
— Tractor2ਟਵਿੱਟਰ (@Tractor2twitr) July 22, 2021
The monsoon session of parliament will end in early August. After a lengthy statement, New Delhi Police has allowed 200 farmers to gather at Jantar Mantar during the day but protesters need to follow the Corona Virus Guidelines issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, an official statement said.
In late January, thousands of angry farmers clashed with police after their tractors were blocked by security. One protester was killed and more than 80 policemen were injured in the city. Farmers say the laws favor large private retailers who were not allowed to buy farm produce outside government-run wholesale grain markets before the new rules.
The government says the laws, introduced in September 2020, will prevent farmers from selling their produce only in regulatory wholesale markets. It says farmers will benefit if big traders, retailers and food processors can buy directly from producers.
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