January the 29th, clashes broke out between hundreds of opponents and supporters of large-scale farmers’ protests in India, which has disrupted the Indian capital for more than eight weeks.
At least one farmer was seen waving a sword in the latest riot, AFP reported on January 29.
The riots were more intense than two months of protests against the liberalization of agricultural markets.
Police fired tear gas and drove protest groups with batons to separate them.
The report pointed out that since Republic Day on the 26th, tensions around farmers protest camps have been increasing.
A tractor rally that day turned into a city-wide riot, killing a farmer and injuring nearly 400 police officers.
Since then, the government has sent thousands of additional police and paramilitaries in New Delhi and around the farmers’ protest camp.
A small camp has been closed, and many roads around the protest site have also been closed.
Some local groups said that farmers should leave.
The peasant leader insisted that they would continue.
“When we don’t have land, when we can’t grow any crops, we’ll die anyway,” said Bagwant Singh, a 53-year-old farmer living in Singh. He said: “At least if we die here when we protest, we will become martyrs.
We will fight for the rights of the people of this country and die.”
An AFP reporter at the scene said that a policeman was injured in his hand on the 29th during a scuffle with a sword-wielding farmer.
There are also masked men shouting “shooting traitors” and breaking through police cordons and steel roadblocks to rush to farmers.
The authorities cut power and water to a protest camp in Ghazipur, but hundreds of farmers drove tractors to reinforce them overnight, which intensified the biggest challenge faced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took office in 2014.
The report pointed out that tens of thousands of farmers have come to the protest camp since the end of November 2020.
Despite the violence this week, farmers’ leaders said they were digging trenches and preparing for a long-lasting new confrontation.
Farmers oppose reforms aimed at deregulating agricultural markets.
For decades, India’s agricultural market has been organized by state-owned institutions with a minimum price guarantee. Farmers protesters say the new reforms will allow Indian business groups to take over agriculture.
Agriculture has provided jobs for two-thirds of India’s more than 1 billion people, but the government said that agriculture is inefficient and the reform will raise rural incomes.
Indian President Ram Nate Kovind said at the opening of the parliamentary budget session that the protesters’ attack on Red Castle on the 26th was an “insult” to the national symbol.
However, the opposition party’s boycott of Cowend’s speech shows that the political differences caused by the dispute are growing.
Although farmers canceled their plan to march to Parliament on February 1, the day the government submitted its annual spending plan to Parliament, they reaffirmed their determination to stay in the camp.
Farmers’ leaders brought generators to power, while the opposition-led local government in New Delhi organized water trucks.
Some new protesters said they came from a tear-jerking video released by Rakesh Tikett.
Tiquette is one of dozens of peasant leaders who are currently facing police investigation for riots and the impact of Red Castle.
Fearing police action, farmers pounded the kettle with spoons all night to urge each other to stay awake, the report said.
“The government is trying to disrupt our protests by creating lies and trouble,” said Sukdev Singh, a farmer in her 30s.
Singh said that their families in Punjab are worried, but do not want them to come back.
“We will not give in from here until the law is taken back – whether it takes a day, a month, a year, or a decade to withdraw the law,” he said.