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World Police tighten security as thousands join Indian farmer protests

13:31  30 january  2021
13:31  30 january  2021 Source:   afp.com

A pro-democracy activist on Hong Kong’s year of turmoil: “The city itself is dying”

  A pro-democracy activist on Hong Kong’s year of turmoil: “The city itself is dying” Joey Siu, an activist featured in a new documentary, talks about the protests and China’s national security crackdown.Starting in June 2019, the city convulsed with protests over a controversial extradition bill. That expanded into a pro-democracy movement that sought to push back against China’s efforts to further erode the city-state’s already tenuous autonomy, and the freedoms that went with it.

Indian police tightened security Saturday around camps where farmers have been protesting against new agricultural reform laws, as thousands more arrived to join the campaign.

a group of people standing in front of a wire fence: Indian police have blocked roads, cut off internet and tightened security around camps full of farmers protesting rural reform © Sajjad HUSSAIN Indian police have blocked roads, cut off internet and tightened security around camps full of farmers protesting rural reform

Authorities cut internet links to most of the camps where tens of thousands of farmers have been based since November as they demand the repeal of the laws.

Tensions have been rising since a mass tractor rally on Tuesday turned into a rampage across Delhi where clashes between farmers and security forces left one dead and hundreds injured.

Tens of thousands of farmers protest agriculture laws with blockades across India

  Tens of thousands of farmers protest agriculture laws with blockades across India The farmers argue the new laws will aid big business, and take away their livelihoods.The continued demonstrations indicate that protest energy remains strong, as the government and farmers remain locked in a stalemate after several rounds of talks between them failed to produce any major breakthroughs.

a person sitting on a cart: Farmers are trying to prove to the public that their campaign is a peaceful one, after a rally on Tuesday turned violent © Sajjad HUSSAIN Farmers are trying to prove to the public that their campaign is a peaceful one, after a rally on Tuesday turned violent

At least 10,000 new protesters have arrived since Thursday to bolster the campaign, according to observers.

In the camps, many farmers held a one-day fast on Saturday -- the 73rd anniversary of the assassination of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi -- in a bid to show their tactics are peaceful.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: At least 10,000 additional protestors have arrived this week to boost numbers inside the camps © Sajjad HUSSAIN At least 10,000 additional protestors have arrived this week to boost numbers inside the camps

But outside, on top of the internet cut, police blocked a main road into the Ghazipur camp on the outskirts of Delhi.

Additional security forces were deployed after clashes erupted Friday between farmers and opponents of their campaign.

A Melbourne Uni graduate 'shot' by police during protests in New Delhi

  A Melbourne Uni graduate 'shot' by police during protests in New Delhi A Melbourne University graduate who had gone back to India to visit after getting married and became stuck there due to Covid has allegedly been shot in the head by police in a protest.Navreet Singh, 25, was driving a tractor when he was killed after the rally on Republic Day last week descended into violent police clashes.

Some local groups say they want the protesters to go home but the farmers' leaders are adamant they will stay. There have been accusations that right-wing activists have manipulated the counter-protests.

The new laws allow farmers to sell their produce on the open market after decades of selling to state-run bodies.

a group of people posing for the camera: Farmers have insisted they will stay put until the new agricultural laws are withdrawn © Sajjad HUSSAIN Farmers have insisted they will stay put until the new agricultural laws are withdrawn

Farmers say the changes will mean the takeover of the agriculture industry, which employs two-thirds of India's 1.3 billion population, by conglomerates.

The government says the changes will boost efficiency and rural incomes.

ash/tw/reb

Indian farmer leaders condemn violence but will continue protests .
Organiser says the protesters who deviated from set routes for tractor rally do not represent majority of farmers.On Tuesday, tens of thousands of farmers began the day in a convoy of tractors festooned with Indian and religious flags along New Delhi’s outskirts as the country celebrated its Republic Day.

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