Farmer leaders call for Bharat Bandh on December 8 if demands not met

The farmer community has expressed apprehension that the new laws are "anti-farmer"
A day ahead of the fifth round of negotiations with the central government on the three farm laws, agitating farmers on Friday hardened their stand, threatening to hold a Bharat Bandh on December 8 and occupy toll plazas if their demands are not met by then.

Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said if the Centre does not accept the demands in Saturday's talks, farmers will intensify their agitation against the new agriculture laws.

"In our meeting today, we have decided to give a 'Bharat Bandh' call on December 8 during which we will also occupy all toll plazas," said Harvinder Singh Lakhwal, another farmer leader. "We have planned to block all roads leading to Delhi in the coming days if new farm laws are not scrapped."

Delhi's border points remained choked as thousands of farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and other states held demonstrations for the ninth consecutive day, after talks with the government failed to yield any resolution on Thursday.

The farmer community has expressed apprehension that the new laws are "anti-farmer", and will pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

Meanwhile, traffic continued to remain disrupted at several border points of the national capital as police kept key routes connecting Delhi to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh closed because of the farmers' protest. Groups of farmers from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday had blocked another important national highway -- NH-24 -- that connects Delhi to Ghaziabad, leaving those travelling from there to the capital city stranded.

"The Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border on NH-24 at Gazipur remains closed for traffic from Ghaziabad to Delhi on Friday, too," a traffic police official said.

As farmers remained unyielding on their demand for scrapping the new farm laws, the police kept the Delhi-Haryana border at Singhu, Tikri, Jharoda Lampur, Auchandi, Safiabad, Piao Maniyari, and Saboli closed for traffic movement.




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