New Delhi (dpa), 18 Dec, 2020 - At least 22 protestors have died, several of them due to the biting cold weather, during the three-week agitation by farmers on the Indian capital’s borders, a spokesman for a farmers’ unions spearheading the agitation said on Friday
At least five farmers died in accidents on their way to join the protests, some died of heart attacks and several from illnesses brought on by exposure to the extreme cold north Indian winter, Ashutosh Mishra, spokesman for the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said.
Tens of thousands of farmers, largely from Punjab and Haryana, have been parked on various highways on Delhi’s borders since the end of November demanding the rollback of new farm laws they say will help big corporations and leave them at the mercy of the free market.
The laws passed by parliament in September are aimed at loosening rules on the pricing, storage and marketing of crops.
India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government says the laws passed by parliament in September are part of reforms of the agriculture and allied sectors and will enhance the incomes of farmers, remove middlemen and bring in private investment.