Protest to intensify as farmer leaders set to observe hunger strike today

Farmers gather for a speech at a protest site at a road block on the Delhi-Haryana border crossing in Singhu, Delhi, India, on Dec. 3. (Bloomberg)

The ongoing farmers' protest is set to intensify as the heads of all farmer unions agitating against the Centre's new farm laws will observe a one-day hunger strike on Monday.

A protester from Lakhimpur Kheri at the Ghazipur (Delhi-UP border) said, "When we take our sugarcane trolleys to mills, it happens that we skip meals for 24 hours. We are prepared for fast."

The number of farmers at the Ghazipur border is increasing while the protesters continue to stay in the cold weather conditions here.

The fast will be observed from 8:00 am today till 5:00 pm. The farmers here told that they have a habit of fasting this way. Some farmers also asserted that when they go to sell crops, they have to stay hungry for one or two days.

Gradually, the population of farmers is increasing at the Ghazipur border, where earlier there used to be only two to three tents of ration, today it has increased to at least eight to ten tents at the protest site without the lack of food supply.

Alleging that the Central government is working in favour of the corporate sector, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait on Sunday reiterated that farmers will not end the agitation till the three recently passed agriculture sector laws are repealed.

"The farmers are here with full preparation to stay. The completion of the construction of godowns before the laws were passed shows that the plan is something else. The farmers' name is on the files and inside the files, the documents belong to traders. This will not go on in India," Tikait said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said, he will hold a one-day fast on Monday in support of farmers.

He also urged his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers as well as people of the country to join in.

Hundreds of farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi since late November 26 demanding the government to repeal the newly enacted farm laws.

However, the government has held six rounds of talks with farmers' organisations including the meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah offering changes to the laws and written assurances.

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