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CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES (Feb 28):- GLOBAL:- Total Cases: 11,44,64,297; Total Deaths: 25,39,067 Recovered: 9,00,08,036 BELGIUM:- Total Cases: 7,69,414; Total Deaths: 22,052 BRAZIL:- Total Cases: 1,05,17,232; Total deaths: 2,54,263 CANADA:- Total Cases: 8,64,196; Total Deaths: 21,960 CHINA:- Total Cases: 89,893 ; Total Deaths: 4,636 FRANCE:- Total Cases: 37,36,016; Total Deaths: 86,332 GERMANY:- Total Cases: 24,44,177 Total Deaths: 70,589 INDIA:- Total Cases: 1,10,96,731; Total Deaths: 1,57,087 INDONESIA:- Total Cases: 13,34,634; Total Deaths: 36,166 IRAN:- Total Cases: 16,31,169; Total Deaths: 60,073 ITALY:- Total Cases: 29,07,825; Total Deaths: 97,507 JAPAN:- Total Cases: 4,30,539; Total Deaths: 7,807 MEXICO:-Total Cases: 20,84,128; Total Deaths: 1,85,257 NETHERLANDS:- Total Cases: 10,84,021; Total Deaths: 15,543 PHILIPPINES:- Total Cases: 5,76,352; Total Deaths: 12,318 RUSSIA:- Total Cases: 42,46,079; Total Deaths: 86,122 S KOREA:- Total Cases: 89,676; Total Deaths: 1,603 SPAIN:-Total Cases: 31,88,553; Total Deaths: 69,142 SWEDEN:- Total Cases: 6,57,309 Total Deaths: 12,826 SWITZERLAND:-Total Cases: 5,54,932; Total Deaths: 9,966 UAE:- Total Cases: 3,91,524; Total Deaths: 1,221 UK:- Total Cases: 41,70,519; Total Deaths: 1,22,705; US:- Total Cases: 2,92,02,824; Total Deaths: 5,24,669 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Farmers' agitation all set for a new high: 'chakka jam' on Feb 6
The farmers have called a countrywide 'chakka jam' on Saturday to protest against the new farm laws. They are worried the existing sarkari sharks-commission agents-farmer clandestine arrangement will come to an end.

NEW DELHI, Feb 2: The farmers' unions agitating against the recent Central farm laws will organise a 'chakka jam' (road blockade) across the country on Saturday with full support from the Opposition parties. During the 'chakka jam' the protesters will block national and State highways all over the country for three hours from 12 noon till 3 pm on February 6.

Meanwhile, the farmer-protesters from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in large numbers are swarming Delhi borders to lay siege to the national Capital. The security forces are heavily barricading the protest sites on the borders at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur. At Ghazipur barbed wires have been erected.

There can be no "formal" talks with the Government until "harassment" by the police is stopped and detained farmers are released, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut met Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Tuesday and assured of support from his party and the Maharashtra Government to the farmers' agitation against the newly-enacted laws, it was reported. The Rajya Sabha MP along with other party leaders met the BKU leader at the Ghazipur protest site, bordering UP.

"Our slogan is 'Kanoon Wapsi Nahi toh Ghar Wapasi Nahi," Tikait said, adding, the agitation will not end till the laws are withdrawn.

He tweeted, "There will be a Mahapanchayat in Jind tomorrow, I will go there: Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union," even as Haryana extended the suspension of internet services in Kaithal, Panipat, Jind, Rohtak, Charkhi Dadri, Sonipat and Jhajjar till 5 pm on February 3, news agencies reported.

The union leaders said the Government has blocked internet services in places around the agitation sites at the Delhi borders. Power and water supplies at the sites have been disconnected and the mobile toilets have been taken away, they alleged.

More and more protesters were swarming Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points around Delhi through Tuesday. The security forces have blocked the entry points and are using drones to monitor the situation. The protesting farmers had been converging on Delhi borders since November 26. By Tuesday, the police had heavily barricaded the Ghazipur border and erected barbed wire to prevent the protesters from entering Delhi.

The Samkyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a front of protesting farmers' unions, alleged that the Twitter accounts of Kisan Ekta Morcha have been restricted. Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said it was done at the instance of the Government.

With western UP joining the agitation, farmers are virtually laying siege to the national Capital from all sides. Protesting farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were converging on Delhi. This is irrespective of the fact that Haryana and UP are ruled by the BJP.

The main grievance of the farmers is that the new laws will lead to end of the procurement system which assures a minimum support price (MSP). They fear the laws will gradually end the mandi system and leave farmers at the mercy of the corporates. They are mainly worried that the existing commission agent-farmer clandestine arrangement will come to an end. The corporates could spell the end of the decades-long underhand deals of the farmers and their agents as also the sarkari sharks.

In Haryana, leaving ruling BJP and its ally JJP, all parties like the Congress led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the INLD led by Abhay Chautala are supporting the protests. In Congress-ruled Punjab, Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal of Sukhbir Singh Badal has expressed its resentment with Harsimrat Kaur resigning from the Central Cabinet at the beginning itself.

The three contentious laws passed by Parliament are the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

The farmers' lot had been worsening over the decades in India with the harsh loan recovery system, leading to thousands of suicides.

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