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India to repeal farm laws that sparked yearlong protests

A protest against controversial farm laws in Mumbai, India, in September Associated Press/Photo by Rafiq Maqbool

India to repeal farm laws that sparked yearlong protests

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government would withdraw three controversial farm laws that prompted thousands of farmers to camp out in protest for nearly a year. In the unexpected concession broadcast on television, Modi urged the protesters to go home. He said the constitutional repeal process will begin in December when the Parliament of India resumes its winter session. The unions leading the protests welcomed the announcement but said they will continue their efforts until the repeal goes through and the government guarantees the prices of some of their essential crops.

What was the farmers’ complaint?  The farmers argued the laws passed last September alienate them and favor corporate farms. Thousands of farmers have occupied protest camps outside of Delhi since last November, posing one of the greatest challenges to Modi’s leadership. Hundreds of farmers were injured when the protests turned violent in January, and farmers claim hundreds have died. The prime minister’s concession comes ahead of certain key state elections in places like Punjab, which is home to many Sikh farmers involved in the demonstrations.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on the Indian Supreme Court’s suspension of the agricultural laws in January.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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