According to Sanyukat Kisan Morcha (SKM), a coalition of 40 farmer's unions, at least 248 farmers have died since demonstrations begun last year. However, farmer leaders have confirmed that they would not accept anything less than a repeal of the new agriculture laws, which open the sector to the exploitation of large corporations and leaves them unprotected.
First day at Delhi’s borders he was hit by tear shell. Protest has entered 100th day. Still he is here. pic.twitter.com/msB4jf2EAJ
"Our farmers are living in tractor trolleys in harsh conditions. The conditions are unhygienic too because one cannot find clean toilets on the roads because of which several farmers picked illnesses and died due to several types of ailments such as cold, heart attack, brain hemorrhage, diabetes, and pneumonia. Several lost their lives while traveling on the highways day and night to Singh and Tikri borders," General Secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union Jagmohan Singh told reporters on February 22.
On the other hand, Modi insists that the reforms are "much needed" in the agricultural sector and has said that his government won't repeal the laws. On Saturday, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that "Congress demands that the three new farm laws should immediately be repealed."
"The farmers have called this day a black day. We think this is a black chapter in our democracy, where everything was done to disrupt this peaceful protest. They (farmers) were demonized, all kinds of conspiracies were hatched against them, but they stayed on," the official added.