Press Trust of india

AAP stages hunger strike in Jammu in support of agitating farmers

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Jammu: Members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday staged a day-long hunger strike here in solidarity with farmers who are protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws.

Some social groups also took out a joint rally, demanding repealing of the laws.

The hunger strike by dozens of AAP members near Jewel Chowk in the heart of Jammu was meant to convey the support of the party to the agitating farmers, an AAP spokesperson said.

He alleged that the Centre has “introduced these black laws to benefit a section of corporate houses”.

“If farmers are not ready to accept these laws, the government should shun its rigidity and accept their demand by revoking these laws immediately,” the spokesperson said.

Thousands of farmers are protesting against the legislations at various border points of Delhi since November end, demanding that the central government withdraw the laws.

A group of people affiliated to social organisations, such as the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee and the Lok Manch, took out a rally from the Gandhi Nagar Gurdwara here in support of the agitating farmers and briefly blocked the Jammu airport road before dispersing. Some Sikh organisations and NGOs were also part of the march.

They were initially stopped by police when they tried to block the road.

Protesters raised slogans in support of farmers’ demand to repeal the new farm laws and later, dispersed off peacefully, officials said.

“The government has to take back these anti-farmer laws. The entire population of the country stands with farmers,” chairman Sikh Youth Sewa Trust Tejinder Pal said.

Farmers are protesting the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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