Indian Farmers threatens to start hunger strike from today


NEW DELHI: The ongoing farmers’ protest in India escalated on Sunday after thousands of angry farmers started blocking highways and camping on the outskirts of New Delhi, while many demonstrators have now started marching towards Kadli to block major thoroughfares, including Delhi-Jaipur Highways.

In a tweet, the Delhi Traffic Police informed commuters about the closure of the Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari and Mangesh borders on Saturday. Since these borders are closed, it suggested that motorists take alternative routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli and Singhu School Toll Tax border. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK Road. So, commuters have been advised to avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road and National Highway-44, the Traffic Police said. Due to the ongoing farmers’ protests, it said both the Chilla and the Ghazipur borders are also closed for traffic from Noida and Ghaziabad.

“The aim of all the government reforms is to make farmers prosperous,” he said, adding that the private sector must help improve the country’s agriculture sector.

But protesting farmers fear the new legislation will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers.

At least 30 farmer unions are actively protesting against the new laws. The unions say the new laws were introduced without consultation and they fear losing earnings and protection over guaranteed prices.

Talks between leaders of the farmers’ unions and government officials have failed to break the deadlock, with the farmers demanding a complete rollback of the new laws.

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