The Kisan Ekta Morcha, a joint front representing the farmers protesting against the Centre’s agricultural laws, said on Wednesday that a four-hour countrywide “rail roko” or railway blockade will be held on February 18.

“On February 18, between 12 pm and 4 pm, a countrywide ‘rail roko’ programme will be held,” the official Twitter account of the farmers announced. The protesting farmers also announced events to commemorate the Pulwama attack on February 14, and said that all toll plazas in Rajasthan will be “toll-free” on February 12.

Earlier this month, the protesting farmers had observed a three-hour road blockade to push their demand of repealing the three farm laws.

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Farm laws not coercive, protestors at Delhi borders victims of rumours, says Modi in Parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Centre and Parliament have “great respect for farmers” protesting against the new farm laws, and added that the legislations were not “coercive”.

Farmers’ protest

Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi’s border points for over two months, seeking the withdrawal of agricultural laws passed in September. The protests had largely been peaceful but violence erupted on January 26, when a tractor rally planned to coincide with Republic Day celebrations turned chaotic. More than 100 protestors have been arrested in connection with the violence and several are missing.

The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate agricultural. 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 laws are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.