Chaos Unleashed: Indian Police Fire Tear Gas On Farmers

News Desk2 months ago

Approximately 200 kilometers north of the city, in the area of Ambala, local stations saw cops using drones to drop tear gas canisters from the sky in an attempt to scatter participants.

Police have erected a terrifying barricade consisting of steel barricades, cement, and metal spikes on the highways connecting New Delhi with the three neighboring states. Assistant Commissioner of Delhi Police Ranjay Atrishya told AFP that “maximum numbers have been deployed.”

The city has outlawed meetings of more than five individuals in public. India’s vast agricultural population gives farmers significant political clout, and the prospect of fresh demonstrations before the country’s anticipated April election season is worrisome.

Agriculture provides a living for two-thirds of India’s 1.4 billion citizens, or around 5% of the nation’s GDP, according to official statistics.

A “March to Delhi,” or “Delhi Chalo,” has been called by farmers, in remembrance of their January 2021 break-in on Republic Day, when they marched into the city as part of a year-long protest.

Punjabi farmers’ union leader Sarwan Singh Pandher told reporters, “The farmers are peaceful, but drones are using tear gas against us.”

“We will not stop protesting until our demands are met by the government.”

Hundreds of tractors were seen traveling in columns from the nearby states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh toward the capital by Indian broadcasters. Some of the tractors were even using their vehicles to remove roadblocks. Tractor-driving farmers have attempted to go across the countryside in areas where roads could not be cleared.

An AFP photographer saw police close roads at Ghazipur on the outskirts of Delhi, using multiple lines of blockades. A first line of defense using razor wire was set up, then metal barriers, concrete blocks, and finally police buses.

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Police in Haryana state, adjoining Delhi, said they had made “strong arrangements”, adding in a statement that the situation is “under control”. Farmers’ demonstrations against bills of agricultural reform in November 2020 lasted for nearly a year, posing the worst threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration since it took office in 2014.

After that, tens of thousands of farmers erected temporary camps, and the protests claimed the lives of at least 700 individuals.

A year after the demonstrations started, in November 2021, Modi forced the repeal of three controversial laws through parliament, which farmers had said would give private corporations more control over the nation’s agricultural industry.

A significant number of Indian farmers take their own lives each year due to poverty, debt, and crops impacted by increasingly unpredictable weather patterns brought on by climate change.

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