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World Violence at farmers' protest site in Delhi

13:52  29 january  2021
13:52  29 january  2021 Source:   bbc.com

India ready to put farm laws on hold for 18 months

  India ready to put farm laws on hold for 18 months This government proposal comes after multiple rounds of failed talks between both sides. Talking to the media after the meeting, farmer group leaders said the government is ready to form a special panel to review demands for minimum support price (MSP), and the laws. The farmer groups have repeatedly said that they will settle for nothing less than a repeal of the laws, and the government has ruled out any rollback.The government has said the reforms will not hurt farmers.

Violence has been reported at one of the sites in India's capital Delhi where farmers are protesting against agriculture reforms.

a group of people wearing military uniforms: Hundreds of policemen have been deployed at the Singhu border © BBC Hundreds of policemen have been deployed at the Singhu border

Clashes broke out at the Singhu border when a group of unidentified men reportedly approached farmers and told them to leave the area.

Some farmers and policemen have been injured in the clashes.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping in protest at Delhi's borders for more than a month.

They are demanding that the laws be repealed. The government says its reforms will liberalise the sector, but farmers say they will be poorer as a result. This is one of the longest farmers-led protests India has ever seen, pitting the community against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government.

Heavy security, roads closed after Delhi farmer riots

  Heavy security, roads closed after Delhi farmer riots Indian police imposed heavy security and closed several main roads around New Delhi on Wednesday a day after farmers went on the rampage the capital, leaving one person dead and dozens injured. The violence marked a dramatic escalation in a standoff between the government and thousands of farmers camped out on the outskirts of the city since late November. The farmers, mostly from northern Indian states including Punjab, want new agricultural reforms scrapped that they fear will leave them at the mercy of big corporations.

The situation is still tense at the border as hundreds of policemen have now been deployed there, the BBC's Arvind Chhabra reports from the site.

Farmers say that the group of men pelted stones at them and also destroyed their tents.

Police say they are trying to ascertain the identity of the men. Local media reports say the men came from the local area and accused the farming groups of disturbing peace and their livelihood.

The latest violence comes days after thousands of protesting farmers fought through barricades and tear gas to enter Delhi on India's Republic Day.

Clashes broke out on 26 January after some farmers diverted from the routes they had agreed with authorities to take out a massive tractor rally.

The situation at the Ghazipur border - another site of the protest - is also tense on Friday after hundreds of policemen gathered at the site last night. Farmers said the policemen had come to evict them, but that didn't happen.

Heavy security, roads closed after Delhi farmer riots

  Heavy security, roads closed after Delhi farmer riots Indian police imposed heavy security and closed several main roads around New Delhi on Wednesday, a day after farmers went on the rampage in the capital, leaving one person dead and several hundred injured. On Wednesday morning a number of major roads were blocked as police and security forces set up barricades, leading to major traffic congestion. Riot police were stationed near the Red Fort.- Blow for Modi -The unrest was a major embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government, for whom the farmer protests represent the biggest challenge since coming to power in 2014.

Rakesh Tikait, one of the prominent farmer leaders, made an emotional appeal to farmers last night and asked them to join the protests at Gazipur border. Thousands of more protesters have since reached the site.

What do the new farming laws propose?

The laws loosen rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce which have protected India's farmers from the free market for decades.

Farmers fear that the new laws will threaten decades-old concessions - such as assured prices - and weaken their bargaining power, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation by private companies.

While Mr Modi has defended them, the laws have been likened to a "death warrant" by farmer groups.

Are these reforms necessary?

Most economists and experts agree that Indian agriculture desperately needs reform. But critics of the government say it failed to follow a consultative process and did not take farmers' unions into confidence before passing the laws.

Indian farmers call off parliament march after deadly violence

  Indian farmers call off parliament march after deadly violence February 1 protest when government presents budget postponed following clashes that left one dead and hundreds injured.Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of New Delhi for two months to demand the withdrawal of three farm laws passed last year, which they say benefit big private buyers at the expense of growers.

For one, the bills were put to a hurried voice vote in parliament, leaving little time for debate, which infuriated the opposition. And state governments, which play a crucial role in enacting such legislation, also appear to have been left out of the loop.

a group of people wearing costumes: Hundreds of women farmers have joined the protests © Getty Images Hundreds of women farmers have joined the protests

Experts also point out that the reforms fail to take into account that agriculture still remains a mainstay in the Indian economy.

More than half of Indians work on farms, but the sector accounts for barely a sixth of the country's GDP. Declining productivity and a lack of modernisation have shrunk incomes and hobbled agriculture in India for decades. The government, meanwhile, provides farmers with generous subsidies, exempts them from income tax and crop insurance, guarantees a minimum price for 23 crops and regularly waives off debts.

"Now the government is saying, we will get out of the way, and asking us to deal directly with big businesses. But we didn't demand this in the first place! So why are they doing this to us?" Rakesh Vyas, a farmer, told the BBC's Soutik Biswas recently.

Experts say any attempt to dismantle decades-old concessions must happen through dialogue because otherwise fear and suspicion will derail the process.

The Indian government and its supporters are attacking Western celebrities for supporting the farmers' protests .
India's government has slammed Western celebrities for backing the farmers protesting in New Delhi. Farmers say the government's proposed reforms to agricultural laws will leave them poorer. Pro-government crowds burned photos of Rihanna and Greta Thunberg on Thursday. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. The Indian government has launched an attack on Western celebrities, with some supporters burning their photos, for publicly supporting mass protests by farmers.

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