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Indian farmers squat on railway tracks to mark four months of protests

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NEW DELHI – Dozens of farmers squatted on railway tracks in northern India on Friday, disrupting traffic to mark four months of a campaign against the opening up of agriculture produce markets to private players.

Across the northern states of Haryana and Punjab, protesters blocked railway tracks at 32 locations, leading to the cancellation of at least four passenger trains.

“Around 30 trains are held up,” Deepak Kumar, an Indian railways spokesman, told Reuters.

Freight movement had also been affected, with around 20 goods trains currently stalled, Kumar said.

At a major protest camp in Delhi’s Ghazipur, protesters blocked a highway connecting the capital city with neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state.

Policemen stand next to the barricades during a 12-hour strike, as part of protests against farm laws, on a highway at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad, India, March 26, 2021.
Policemen stand next to the barricades during a 12-hour strike, as part of protests against farm laws, on a highway at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad, India, March 26, 2021.
Reuters

Police also erected additional barricades, topped by concertina wire and hundreds of personnel had been deployed.

Of around a thousand protesters at the site, some danced and sang on Friday. “Take back the black laws,” they chanted in Hindi.

Several rounds of talks between the government and the farm leaders have failed and there are no new meetings planned for now.

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