Protesting Punjab Farmers Have Been Burning Effigies Of Modi, Shah For Weeks

Meryl Sebastian
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People raise slogans while burning an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani and Chairman of the Adani Group Gautam Adani, in protest against corporate businesses under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, at Ranjeet Avenue Ground, on October 23, 2020 in Amritsar. (Photo: Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
People raise slogans while burning an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani and Chairman of the Adani Group Gautam Adani, in protest against corporate businesses under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, at Ranjeet Avenue Ground, on October 23, 2020 in Amritsar. (Photo: Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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.

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.

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 shout slogans before burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd company, Mukesh Ambani and Chairman and founder of the Adani Group Gautam Adani, to protest against corporate businesses following the recent passing of agriculture bills in the Parliament, on the outskirts of Amritsar on October 18, 2020.  (Photo: NARINDER NANU via Getty Images)
Farmers shout slogans before burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd company, Mukesh Ambani and Chairman and founder of the Adani Group Gautam Adani, to protest against corporate businesses following the recent passing of agriculture bills in the Parliament, on the outskirts of Amritsar on October 18, 2020. (Photo: NARINDER NANU via Getty Images)

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.