India police fire tear gas at protesting farmers on Delhi march

India police fire tear gas at protesting farmers on Delhi march
India police fire tear gas at protesting farmers on Delhi march

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details India police fire tear gas at protesting farmers on Delhi march in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW DELHI — Police in India have fired teargas on protesting farmers who have resumed their march on capital Delhi after four rounds of talks with the federal government failed to end the deadlock.

The farmers, who are demanding assured prices for their crops, say they are prepared with months of supplies.

Delhi's borders have been fortified with several layers of barricades and barbed wires to stop their entry.

But protesters have warned they would use heavy machinery to push through.

On Wednesday, visuals from the Shambhu border between the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana states showed thousands of farmers preparing to push past barriers using bulldozers and earthmovers.

Police fired teargas at the protesters as they attempted to move towards the border, BBC Punjabi reported. Farmers seemed better prepared than last week as they used masks, gloves and safety suits to protect themselves from the shelling.

Many among the protesters flew kites to interfere with the police's operation of drones, which have been used to drop tear gas shells on them.

Farm leaders also made frequent announcements for unity, appealing to the security forces to not attack their "brethren".

Agriculture Minister Arjun Munde has invited farmers for a fifth round of talks. "It is important for us to maintain peace," he wrote on X (Formerly Twitter). Farmers are yet to respond to this invite.

Meanwhile, police in Haryana have asked their counterparts in Punjab to stop women, children and journalists at least 1km away from the borders for their safety. They have also asked the Punjab police to seize bulldozers and other heavy machinery from the protesting sites.

In Delhi, security has been tightened and large gatherings have been banned for a month.

Located at a distance of about 200kms (125 miles) from the capital, farmers have been stationed at Shambhu border since last week when authorities authorities clashed with the protesters, firing tear gas and plastic bullets at them in a bid to halt them.

They fear a repeat of 2020, when thousands of farmers hunkered down at Delhi's borders for months - braving extreme temperatures and Covid - against controversial agriculture reforms. Dozens died in the year-long protest which ended only after the government agreed to repeal the laws.

The latest round of protests also come months before the general elections in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeing a third term in power. Farmers form an influential voting bloc in India and and analysts say the government will be keen not to anger or alienate them.

Farmers' leaders say their march is peaceful and have urged the government to let them enter the capital.

"We tried our best from our side. We attended the meetings and discussed every issue, now the decision lies with the government. We will remain peaceful but we should be allowed to remove these barriers and march towards Delhi," farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher told reporters.

The government has so far held four rounds of meetings with farmers' unions. Protesters say the government did not keep promises made during the 2020-21 protest, and also have demands including pensions and a debt waiver.

On Monday, farmers' leaders rejected a proposal to buy some crops at assured prices on a five-year contract, saying the offer was "not in their interest".

The government had proposed buying pulses, maize and cotton at guaranteed floor prices - also known as Minimum Support Price or MSP - through cooperatives for five years.

But the farmers say that they will stand by their demand of a "legal guarantee for MSP on all 23 crops". — BBC

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