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Protesting Farmers Block Kundli–Manesar–Palwal Expressway in Haryana

The call for the 24-hour blockade in protest against the three farm laws was given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.
Protesting Farmers Block Kundli–Manesar–Palwal Expressway in Haryana

Image Courtesy: PTI

Chandigarh: Intensifying their protest against the three farm laws, farmers blocked the Kundli–Manesar–Palwal expressway at some places in Haryana on Saturday.

The blockade started at 8 a.m and would last 24 hours.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of protesting farmer unions spearheading the agitation against the agriculture-related legislations, on Friday gave a call for a 24-hour blockade of the KMP expressway.

The 136-km-long expressway is also known as the Western Peripheral Expressway.

Protesting farmers, however, said emergency vehicles will be allowed to ply.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said the blockade would be for 24 hours.

Haryana Police in the meanwhile issued a traffic advisory, asking travellers to avoid the KMP expressway.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk on Friday said elaborate arrangements were in place to maintain peace and order, prevent any kind of violence and facilitate traffic movement and public transport on the expressway.

Traffic diversions have been planned by affected districts especially Sonipat, Jhajjar, Panipat, Rohtak, Palwal, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Nuh, Virk said.

Hundreds of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points of Delhi -- Singhu, Tikri (along Haryana), and Ghazipur -- demanding a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year.

The Centre says the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen, giving them more options to sell their crops.

The protesting farmers, however, say the laws will weaken the minimum support price (MSP) system and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.

On Friday, farmer leaders said that nothing, not even the second wave of COVID-19 would deter them from protesting against the three farm laws.

They said they were prepared with certain basic precautions in place.

While the government has been projecting these laws as major agricultural reforms, farmers have expressed apprehension that the move would lead to the elimination of the Minimum Support Price system, and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.

Paramjit Singh, when asked by PTI, if the farmers were afraid of contracting the disease said: "What choice do we have? Our lives are already on the line. We were afraid of the biting cold, and are afraid of the heat that awaits us, so yes, we are afraid of the disease but there is no other option.”

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