World India: clashes during protests risk harming farmers' movement

15:25  27 january  2021
15:25  27 january  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Des agriculteurs manifestant à New Delhi, le 26 janvier, se couvrent le visage après des tirs de gaz lacrymogènes lors de heurts. © AP - Altaf Qadri Farmers demonstrating in New Delhi on January 26 cover their faces after tear gas fire during clashes.

The huge farmers' protest in New Delhi on Tuesday January 26 ended in violence. Thousands of demonstrators broke through police roadblocks and entered the heart of the capital, storming one of the city's most iconic landmarks.

With our correspondent in New Delhi, Sébastien Farcis

Tractors which rush at the police checkpoints, then at journalists, demonstrators who beat the police with sticks to finally seize by hundreds of the Red Fort, the one of the symbols of the Indian republic ... Anarchy reigned for a few hours Tuesday in New Delhi.

India: Paramilitary reinforcements in Delhi after clashes between farmers and police

 India: Paramilitary reinforcements in Delhi after clashes between farmers and police © Provided by Le Point L The Indian government on Tuesday ordered the deployment of 2,000 paramilitaries to reinforce the police in New Delhi, after clashes between thousands of Indian farmers and the police during a demonstration against the government's agricultural reforms, on the sidelines of the National Day celebrations. A major security operation was put in place on Tuesday to prevent farmers from disrupting the Republic Day military parade, which ultimately went as planned.

These events frightened the population and caused the farmers to lose some of the credibility and sympathy generated over the past two months. Three hundred police officers were also injured and one protester died in the clashes. Union leaders appear to have lost control over their troops, but they also accuse vandals of infiltrating the protests.

Several union leaders accused, the movement falters

“We told these demonstrators not to break down the barricades. Why did they do it, then? They are no longer part of our movement. We will ask them to leave immediately and the police can prosecute them if they want, ”says Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson for the Bharatiya Kisan Union.

Two hundred demonstrators have already been arrested. But the police also hold several union leaders responsible for these abuses. Their arrest could decapitate this movement of peasants who have been fighting for months to withdraw the reform on the liberalization of agricultural production and trade.

► To read also: Demonstrations in India: "The power will seek to discredit the peasants"

India cuts internet to hunger-striking farmers .
Tensions are rising in Delhi where thousands of farmers are demanding agriculture reforms be repealed.The government said the shutdown would continue until Sunday night to "maintain public safety".

usr: 0
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