Farmers begin day-long hunger strike as protest against farm laws intensifies
The farmers protesting against the three farm laws passed by the Centre began their hunger strike at various border points near Delhi. The farmer unions have also said that protests will also be held in other parts of the country.
“We want to wake the government up. So, 40 farmer leaders of our United Farmers Front will sit on hunger strike today at all borders points between 8 am-5 pm. Twenty five of them will sit at Singhu border, 10 at Tikri border and five at UP border,” said Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union or BKU in Punjab.
The protesters who are at the Ghazipur border in Delhi say they are prepared for the day-long fast. “When we take our sugarcane trolleys to mills, it happens that we skip meals for 24 hours. We are prepared for fast,” news agency ANI quoted a farmer from Lakhimpur Kheri as saying.
The protest has been going on for nearly 20 days, with the farmer demanding the repeal of the three laws passed by Parliament in September. On Sunday, the protests continued across Delhi borders with more farmers joining the stir at Singhu (Haryana border).
The protesters have been shouting slogans against the government, singing songs, taking out marches with posters and banners, and attending speeches delivered from the stage.
One farmer even celebrated the first birthday of his daughter by cutting cakes with fellow demonstrators at Tikri border on Sunday. The farmers decorated the protest site with colourful balloons and posters, wishing the little girl a very happy birthday. The poster also displays a picture of the girl with her family.
“My daughter is celebrating back home with her mother and our relatives. When we left our homes, we had vowed not to return before our victory. I am fighting for my daughter’s generation and to secure their land rights,” said the farmer Jagat Singh.
The government has so far held five rounds of talks with farmers’ organisations including a meeting called by Union home minister Amit Shah offering changes to the laws and written assurances but the stalemate has been continuing.