On Tuesday, India’s main opposition party issued a statement saying that 60 farmers have died since the start of the protests against the new agricultural laws over a month ago. Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the government's ‘apathy and arrogance’ has led to the loss of lives.
Currently, thousands of farmers are encamped at borders around New Delhi, demanding a roll back of agricultural laws passed in September they believe will lead to their exploitation. Police have, on a couple of occasions, fired tear gas to keep them from entering the national capital. The protesters also maintain that 60 of them have died since the agitation started in November.
“They sacrificed their lives for the movement,” Rakesh Tikait, a senior member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, a farmer group, told Anadolu Agency. “We won’t accept anything less than a roll back."
The news laws allow large corporations to buy agricultural produce from farmers directly. Farmers in India usually sell their produce at local state-registered markets that ensure them a minimum support price, thus protecting them from price shocks in case of a bad crop year.
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