Farmer unions in India angered by new agriculture laws said Wednesday they would continue to protest even after the country's Supreme Court ordered implementation temporarily suspended.
Weeks of street protests by thousands of farmers who last year came to capital New Delhi on a "tractor march" and choked city traffic by camping near parliament are unlikely to end soon. Farmers have endured freezing cold, hunger and dozens of deaths among their ranks during the protests.
Protest leaders Wednesday claimed a suspension order by India's Supreme Court was nothing more than a "politically motivated trick" to put a stop to the protests.
Agriculture accounts for about a quarter of India's economy with small landholders increasingly concerned that efforts to allow new large grocery outlets and larger farms will squeeze their earnings.
India's top court issued the order Tuesday - effectively halting the implementation of the "market friendly" laws until it is fully reviewed by a new established committee of experts to find a solution to the dispute.
"All the committee members are pro-government. All are people who so far justified the government laws - they are writing articles to justify the government law. We have decided that our agitation will continue," the leader of one of the farmer unions said.
The government previously tried to put a stop to the protest by claiming separatist militants had already "infiltrated" the groups. Supreme Court justices said Tuesday they had ordered the city's attorney general to submit evidence to substantiate claims.