Today: Monday, 22 April 2024 year

Police used tear gas against farmers in India.

Police used tear gas against farmers in India.

Police in the Indian state of Haryana fired tear gas shells at farmers who on Wednesday announced they would begin marching towards the Indian capital, Delhi.

Clashes between farmers and police took place in the village of Shambhu, which has been the main gathering point of protesting farmers and where clashes had already broken out last week. The police note that the number of protesters exceeded 10 thousand, many farmers came to the protest site on their tractors, and some began installing iron sheets and bars on their equipment in order to further storm the police barriers and dismantle the concrete blocks blocking the protesters’ roads to Delhi. Police say farmers are arming youth with sticks, stones, tear gas masks and iron shields to attack security personnel.

Farmers are demanding the adoption of a law ensuring a minimum support price for the agricultural products they grow, that is, a guaranteed purchase by the government of their crops at a pre-announced price. Farmers are seeking to have this law apply to 23 types of products they grow. The protesters also demand pensions for farmers over 60 years of age, tax cuts, and the cancellation of repayment of loans taken by farmers. The demands include India’s withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and the freezing of India’s free trade agreements with certain countries.

In turn, government officials called a number of farmers’ demands unacceptable and unfulfillable, but called on the protesters to sit down at the negotiating table.

Last week, farmers clashed with police in the village of Shambhu, which lies on the border of the states of Haryana and Punjab and is located about 200 kilometers from Delhi. Police used tear gas and water cannons against farmers who tried to break through police barricades and threw stones and sticks at law enforcement officers. Police later reported that 26 police officers were injured as a result of the clashes. Farmers report 60 casualties in the clashes.