Punjab farmers on Sunday burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, corporations and multi-national companies across the state in protest against the farm laws, passed by the Parliament last month.
The protesters described the three farm legislations introduced by the Centre as black laws and raised slogans against the BJP-led Centre, demanding withdrawal of the laws.
Protests were held in 42 cities/towns/villages of 14 districts on the call ofBhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), Indian Express reported. Activists, farmers, women, children, elderly, labourers, artists and writers participated in effigy-burning processions across districts in the Malwa belt, the report said.
Farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Mod in Amritsar.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh said farmers burnt effigies of the PM and Union government at several places in the state, PTI reported.
— Kamaldeep Singh Brar (@kamalsinghbrar) October 25, 2020
Jamhoori Kisan Sabha general secretary Kulwant Singh Sandhu told PTI they set effigies on fire in Phillaur and Adampur of Jalandhar district.
The protesting farmers accused the Centre of trying to “ruin” the farming sector at the “behest” of some corporate houses.
This happened all over Punjab yesterday. It’s sad that Punjab is feeling such anger towards PM.
This is a very dangerous precedent and is bad for our country.
PM should reach out, listen and give a healing touch quickly. pic.twitter.com/XvH6f7Vtht
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 26, 2020
Protests marked by burning of effigies didn’t just take place on Sunday.
Earlier, last week, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) workers in Ludhiana burnt one of PM Modi as part of a protest march. A number of traders associated with the vyopar wing of the party participated in the protest, The Tribune reported.
On October 17, office-bearers and activists of various farmer unions organised funeral processions and burnt effigies of the PM and the Union Cabinet on highways, near toll plazas and petrol pumps Mullanpur, Ahmedgarh, Raikot and Payal towns of Punjab, The Tribune’s report said.
In Bathinda, farmers from 30 kisan unions carried out a protest marches burnt effigies of the Union government during protests against the farm laws. Protests were also held in different blocks of the district, the report said.
Farmers groups have been protesting against the three farm laws in the state since last month. Though they had eased their “rail roko” agitation, they continue to stage sit-ins outside fuel stations, toll plazas and residences of several BJP leaders in the state.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws will pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, end Agricultural Produce Market Committees, and leave them at the “mercy” of big corporates.
The three farm bills — the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 — were passed by Parliament in September. Subsequently, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bills.
(With PTI inputs)
This article originally appeared on HuffPost India and has been updated.