Farmers in many parts of Punjab and Haryana, as well as those protesting against the agriculture laws along the borders of Delhi, burned copies of the legislations on the festival of Lohri, as a mark of protest.
Bonfires are a ritual of the harvest festival of Lohri, widely celebrated in the northern states of the country.
Farmers also shouted slogans against the BJP-led central government and criticised the administration for not acceding to their demand of repealing the laws. Visuals of farmers registering their protest on the occasion of the harvest festival were widely shared on social media.
“We burnt the copies of the farm laws as a mark of protest against these legislations,” Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher, told PTI. “Our agitation will continue till the Centre accepts all the demands.” The committee held a protest at Pandherkalan village in Amritsar. Similar protests were held in Hoshiarpur, Sangrur and Kapurthala cities of Punjab, according to the news agency.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi for over 40 days against the laws now, withstanding temperatures dropping to two to three degrees Celsius.
The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court put a hold on the implementation of the laws until further orders and formed a committee to resolve the deadlock between the Centre and farmers’ union. However, farmers have refused to appear before the panel, suggesting that all the members have supported the laws in the past.