Thousands of farmers are on their way, marching towards India's financial capital Mumbai to take part in protests against the farm laws recently passed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
According to All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), a farmers' union, the march is part of the call given by several unions, which are leading the protests in Delhi, to intensify and broaden the struggle from 23 to 26 January.
Pictures and video clips of the march reveal thousands of people walking on the roads, holding placards and banners.January 24, 2021
Farmer protests- March to mumbai - pic.twitter.com/DuH9psM03l— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) January 24, 2021
Speaking to media, national president of AIKS Dr Ashok Dhawale said that this march is being held to support and expand the historic two-month-long farmers struggle in Delhi.
"Several hundreds are also reaching the famous Azad Maidan in Mumbai from villages across Maharashtra today to begin a three-day sit-in. On Monday, a massive rally will head to Raj Bhavan, where a memorandum will be submitted to the governor," he said.
Over the last 60 days - since 26 November 2020 - farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of the national capital Delhi and have blocked roads in India's Uttar Pradesh and Haryana states. They are demanding a complete rollback of the recently-passed laws by the Narendra Modi government.
They are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
According to the government, the laws allow farmers to sell their produce at places other from their designated APMC market. They also aim at allowing contract farming under which they can enter into supply agreements with private firms for remunerative and pre-decided prices.
Farmers believe that the new laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system (MSP) of the their produce, leaving them at the mercy of agribusiness giants.