Indian farmers breach barricades in Republic Day tractor rally
Jan 27 2021
Today's incident - on the back of protests and rioting last winter in New Delhi - also highlights what happens when regular parliamentary discourse and debate is set aside by the ruling party purely on the basis of a clear parliamentary majority, which enables it to pass laws without engaging the rest of the parliament and becoming attuned toward their views. The MHA order didn't specify the kind of internet services - mobile or home broadband - but users across a large part of the city found it hard to access the internet.
Mobile internet services were suspended in parts of Delhi and some metro stations closed as security forces scrambled to restore order. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government insists the laws will benefit farmers and boost production through private investment, but farmers fear cartelization and commercialization of agriculture will devastate their earnings. They were safely rescued by Delhi Police personnel after being stuck for nearly two hours in the afternoon, provided refreshments and subsequently escorted away, a senior officer said.
The majestic Red Fort was overrun by hundreds of so-called farmers even as leaders of the farmer protests wasted no time in dissociating themselves from it.
Authorities had agreed to let the farmers stage a tractor rally as long as they waited for the official Republic Day parade to end. "Farmers then picked up the shells and threw them back", claimed Binder. Identified as Rajesh, the farmer came to participate in the tractor parade but died in a suspicious state during the protest today at the Kundli border.
Thousands more farmers marched on foot or rode on horseback while shouting slogans against Modi.
Republic Day ceremonies went ahead despite security concerns.
Meanwhile, farmer leader and Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait denied any reports of violence by farmers.
By Tuesday afternoon, police said they had removed protesters from the complex, but the situation remained tense.
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.
"The farmers are only demanding what is their right".
Farmers are the latest group to upset Modi's image of imperturbable dominance in Indian politics.
Ten rounds of talks between farm unions and ministers have failed to break the deadlock.