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BIG STORY                                                             February 05, 2021  |        The Indian Eye                          4

                                       farmers protest

            fOreign hand?

           a twitter storm caused by foreign celebrities. indian government ordering a probe

            into a conspiracy to “defame” india. national icons jumping into the controversy.

                                              how did it all become such a huge mess?

        Our Bureau
        New Delhi/Washington, DC

            t started as a small protest
            in a corner of north India.
        IThen it grew on the streets
        of Punjab. Later, farmers from
        Haryana and UP joined the
        movement. Now, farmers from
        at least four states are camping
        – for months – on the border of
        national capital. And the world
        watches as the movement and
        its tussle with the government
        turns violent and ugly.
            On Saturday, protesters
        blocked the Delhi-Amritsar
        National Highway in Amritsar
        on a chakka jam call by farmers
        from 12 noon to 3 pm in pro-
        test against the newly enacted
        farm laws. Earlier, amid the na-
        tionwide call for chakka jam by
        the farmer unions, Delhi Joint
        Commissioner of Police Alok
        Kumar said that police person-         BkU leader rakesh Tikait addresses the farmers during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the
        nel have been deployed at stra-                                  Delhi-Ghazipur border in New Delhi on saturday. (ANI)
        tegic locations on the borders of
        the national capital.                they have given time to the cen- minimum support price (MSP)             new farm laws on hold for about
            Farmers have been protest- tral government till October  of crop procurement.                             18 months.
        ing at different borders of the  2  to  resolve  the  ongoing  farm          The farmers’ unions con-             This week, the issue took a
        national capital since Novem- laws issue, adding that farmers  ducted a three-hour ‘chakka                    global turn as a tweet by pop
        ber 26 last year against the three  will not return to their homes  jam’ across the country today             icon Rihanna on farmers agita-
        newly enacted farm laws: Farm- unless their demands are heard  between 12 noon and 3 pm.                      tion in India kicked up an Inter-
        ers’ Produce Trade and Com- and the three new farm laws are                  Police  had  intensified  their   net storm. The international su-
        merce (Promotion and Facili- repealed.                                   security measures and deployed       perstar was later joined by other
        tation) Act, 2020; the Farmers          Speaking at the Ghazipur  personnel at all important                  celebrities like climate activist
        Empowerment and Protection)  protest site, Tikait said, “We  points in Delhi and other states                 Greta Thunberg and US Vice
        Agreement on Price Assurance  have given time to the govern- to maintain law and order.                       President Kamala Harris’ niece
        and farm Services Act 2020  ment till October 2 to repeal                    Eleven rounds of talks have      Meena Harris
        and the Essential Commodities  the laws. After this, we will do  been held between the govern-                    Rihanna’s tweet on Tuesday
        (Amendment) Act, 2020.               further planning. We won’t hold  ment and the protesting farmer          linked to a news story about the
            Also,     Bharatiya     Kisan discussions with the govern- unions over their demand for                   internet blockade at the protest
        Union (BKU) leader Rakesh  ment under pressure.” He also  repealing farm laws. The gov-                       sites and soon went viral, gain-
        Tikait on Saturday said that  demanded to make a law on the  ernment had offered to put the                      Continued on next page... >>

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