KMP expressway blockade: Commuters won’t be troubled, promise farmers

To mark 100 days of farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s farm laws on Saturday, farmers will block the 135-km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, also known as Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, from 11 am to till 4 pm.

Farmers’s organisation Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is leading the protests, has requested the protesters to wear black bands to register their protest on the day. The farmers have, however, contended that the five-hour blockade will be peaceful.

Those protesting at Singhu border will reach Kundli and block the toll plazas falling on the way. Besides this, farmers from Ghazipur and Tikri borders will block Dasna and Bahadurgarh toll plaza, respectively. Those sitting on the Shahjahanpur border will block the KMP Expressway touching Gurugram-Manesar.

Their plan of action includes freeing up the toll plazas from collecting fees. Farmers have also said that the toll plaza nearest to the border area will be blocked.

Rajvir Singh Jadaun, Uttar Pradesh President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union stationed at Ghazipur border told IANS, “These toll plazas will be blocked in a peaceful manner and passers-by will not be disturbed. We will keep water for the passers-by. They will also be apprised of our issues with the farm laws.”

He went on to say, “Emergency vehicles will not be stopped, whether it is an ambulance, a fire brigade vehicle or foreign tourists. Military vehicles will also not be stopped.”

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has also requested the common people to wave black flags at homes and offices to support the movement, and protest against the government.

Jagtar Singh Bajwa, spokesperson of the protest committee at Ghazipur border told IANS, “Not many people will go from here. A few farmers will reach the Dasna toll. Water will be provided to those who are stopped at the border.”

People at Ghazipur border have been urged not to take their tractors to the protest area. The farmers have also been asked to reach there by their own vehicles. Besides this, people residing near the toll plazas will block the area.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping at the various borders of Delhi to protest against the three farm laws since November 26.

Over these 100 days, the farmers have braved harsh weather but remained firm on their demands. They want the repeal of the contentious laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP).

The farmers claim that the laws will weaken the MSP system. The Centre, however, has described the laws as historic, long-needed reforms in the agriculture sector and said that they will bring investment to the market.

The agitated farmers, however, fear that the laws will leave them at the mercy of the big corporate houses and end the ‘mandi system,’ where farmers are assured of a minimum price for their produce.

Multiple rounds of talks between the government and the farm leaders have failed to end the deadlock so far.