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As the parliament’s monsoon session began this week, 200 protesters will gather in central New Delhi to continue their protests.
Indian farmers, who protest three new agricultural laws they say threaten their livelihoods, will start a sit-in demonstration near parliament in the center of the capital New Delhi in renewed push to pressure the government to pass the laws. to pull.
In the longest-running protest by growers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, tens of thousands of farmers have camped for more than seven months on the main highways leading to New Delhi.
When the monsoon session of the parliament in India started this week, some protesting farmers tried to march into the main government district, but were stopped by police just a few kilometers from the parliament.
On Thursday, 200 protesters will gather at Jantar Mantar, a large Mughal-era observatory in central New Delhi that doubles as a multi-purpose protest site.
“During the parliament monsoon session, 200 farmers will go to Jantar Mantar every day to hold a peasant parliament to remind the government of our long-running demand,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, a prominent peasant leader.
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The parliament’s monsoon session ends in early August.
After lengthy negotiations, New Delhi police have agreed to allow 200 farmers to gather at Jantar Mantar during the day, but the protesters must follow coronavirus guidelines issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, a government statement said.
In late January, thousands of angry farmers clashed with police after driving their tractors into security barriers. A protester was killed and more than 80 police officers were injured in the city.
Farmers say the laws favor large private retailers who, prior to the new laws, were not allowed to purchase agricultural products outside of government-regulated wholesale grain markets.
The government says the laws, introduced in September 2020, will ensure that farmers don’t have to sell their produce only in regulated wholesale markets.
Farmers will benefit if large traders, retailers and food processors can buy directly from producers.
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