January 18, 2021
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Farmers Call Bharat Bandh On December 8

Thousands of farmers continue protests at the national capital's border points on Friday amid heavy police deployment.

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Farmers Call Bharat Bandh On December 8
Farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi on December 5
Suresh K Pandey/Outlook
Farmers Call Bharat Bandh On December 8

Hardening their position ahead of the fifth round of talks with the government, agitating farmers on Friday announced a ''Bharat Bandh'' on December 8 and threatened to occupy toll plazas on that day.

Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chadoni said if the Centre does not accept their demands during Saturday's talks, they will intensify their agitation against the new farm 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 Harinder Singh Lakhwal, general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union.

"We have planned to block all roads leading to Delhi in the coming days if new farm laws are not scrapped," he also said.

He said that farmers will protest against the central government and the corporate houses and burn their effigies on December 5, adding that on December 7, sportspersons will return their medals in solidarity with the farmers.

However, Lakhwal did not divulge the names and number of sportspersons who would be returning their medals.

During the press conference, there were also farmer leaders from Rajasthan, Telangana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other states.

Farmer leaders reiterated their demands that the Centre call a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws, adding that the protestors did not want amendments to the news laws but their scrapping.

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.

Rajasthan farmer leader Ranjeet Singh Raju said that this ongoing agitation belongs to all farmers of the country and added that the government will be entirely responsible if it does not sense public sentiments over the issue and anything happens due to this.

The farmer community has expressed apprehension that the new laws are "anti-farmer", and would 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. 

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