The farmers protesting on the outskirts of Delhi against the centre’s new agricultural laws have called a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday, saying they will block all roads to the capital, amid a stand-off with the government.
The farmers said they will occupy all highway toll gates across the country and not allow the government to collect tolls as part of the December 8 strike. “More people will join our movement,” Harinder Singh Lakhowal, a leader of one of the protesting groups, told a news conference.
The farmer groups said that in their talks with the government they have asked for the withdrawal of the three laws that they say will leave them at the mercy of large corporations and override safeguards against being cheated.
Announcing the escalation of their protest, the farmers said they will take to burning effigies on Saturday.
“We see the government agreeing to our demands on the clauses about electricity use and penalties for stubble burning,” Mr Lakhowal said.
Farmers faced a brutal police crackdown in Haryana last week before being allowed to hold a peaceful protest on the outer fringes of Delhi against the new laws.