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Farmers hunker down on repeal call on Day 1 of Jantar Mantar stir

Busloads of farmers arrived in the national capital on Thursday from various states to protest three contentious agricultural laws during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament after authorities decided to let them in. On the first day of their protests, they held a ‘kisan sansad’ or ‘farmers’ parliament’ at Jantar Mantar — Delhi’s designated spot for protests — demanding the government scrap the laws immediately. The three agricultural laws passed by the Modi government in September last year have been at the heart of massive protests by farmers since November. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella group of 40 farm unions, had declared on July 7 that farmers would march into the national capital to protest outside Parliament while it is in session. On Thursday, there was heavy police deployment all around Jantar Mantar, the historic 18th-century observatory in the city and the site where nearly 200 farmers have hunkered down for their protest, a few hundred metres from the Parliament complex. The current Parliament session, which began on July 19, will run till August 9, and so will the farmers’ sit-in.

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