Farmers in Punjab and Haryana burnt copies of Centre’s three farm laws on the festival of Lohri on Wednesday to protest against the legislations.
The harvest festival of Lohri is celebrated in Punjab, Haryana and other parts of north India, and bonfires are an important part of the festivities.
In Ludhiana, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders also burnt copies of the new farm laws.
Protesting farmers owing allegiance to different farm bodies held protest at many places in the state and burnt copies of the legislations.
Farmers also shouted slogans against the BJP-led central government and slammed it for not acceding to their demands.
Farmers, including women, under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, held a protest at Pandherkalan village in Amritsar.
“We burnt the copies of the farm laws as a mark of protest against these legislations,” said committee’s general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher.
Similar protests were also being held at other places in Amritsar.
“Until the Centre accepts all the demands of farmers, our agitation will continue,” said Pandher.
“We will not accept these farm laws as they are not in the interest of the farming community and the government should repeal these legislations,” said a protester.
Farmers also burnt copies of the new farm laws at other places, including Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Kapurthala and Ludhiana in Punjab and Karnal, Gohana, Dabwali in Haryana.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted people on the occasion of Lohri.
In a tweet, he said, “Let’s all take a minute to pray for strength to our farmers and their families who are braving the bitter cold and fighting for our future generations.”
In Ludhiana, the AAP leaders paid tributes to farmers who died during the ongoing agitation. They also observed a two-minute silence in their memory.
Several AAP leaders were present on the occasion, including state unit chief and MP Bhagwant Mann, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Punjab Legislative Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema, Deputy Leader of Opposition Sarabjit Kaur Manuke, MLAs Principal Budhram, Baljinder Kaur and Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer.
Mann said the farmers’ movement has now become a “mass movement”, claiming that these laws are “dangerous” for every section of the society.
Farmers have been protesting peacefully on the roads for the last several months but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not listening to their plight, he said.
MLA Harpal Singh Cheema said that the AAP had been opposing the “black laws” from the day one.
“Today the AAP was burning copies of black laws in every village, street and locality across the state and was paying homage to the martyred farmers,” Cheema said.
Farmers who have been camping at the Delhi borders are demanding a repeal of the farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price for crops.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had stayed the implementation of controversial farm laws till further orders and decided to set up a 4-member committee to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers’ unions.