Three weeks after thousands of farmers launched a massive agitation against the new agricultural laws near Delhi’s borders, dramatic visuals this afternoon showed the protesters occupying toll plazas near the national capital as vehicles were allowed to pass without paying a fee.
Despite huge police presence at the entry points and toll plazas in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddha Nagar district, several protesters – backed by the Bharatiya Kisan Union – occupied a toll plaza near National Highway-91 and allowed passage of vehicles without paying toll fee.
“Around 100 of us are here. In Gautam Buddha Nagar, we occupied four toll plazas and allowed vehicles to pass for free. First, we blocked the toll from Kundli-Bulandshahr (in Uttar Pradesh). Then we moved to Palwal-Ghaziabad entry point,” a protester told reporters this afternoon.
Even as policemen tried to hold discussion with them, they continued to block the checkpoints.
Visuals showed protesters shouting slogans. “Let the car pass (Jaane do ise),” a protester is heard saying in a clip.
On Friday, the Bharatiya Kisaan Union, one of the 32 protesting farmers’ bodies, moved the Supreme Court and asked the top court to scrap three agricultural laws passed by parliament in September.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union’s petition, filed by its president Bhanu Pratap Singh, claimed that the three laws will lead to commercialisation and will throw the farmers at the mercy of corporates. The Supreme Court has already issued notices to the Central government on a batch of petitions challenging the farm laws passed by Parliament in September.
This morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yet again assured that the reforms will “increase farmers’ income”. “Agriculture and its related sectors such as agricultural infrastructure, food processing, storage, cold chains had seen walls between them. Now these walls are being removed. These reforms will give farmers new markets, advantages of technology, and help bring investments. It is my country’s farmers who will benefit the most from all this,” he said.