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India's Modi breaks silence on months long farm protests

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The iron nails were embedded on the road under instructions of the Delhi Police carried out under the supervision of Mundka police station

Eleven rounds of talks between farmers' unions and the Centre have so far failed to end the impasse.

Singer, artiste and businesswoman Rihanna is asking the internet why more people aren't talking about the ongoing farmers' protest in India.

The suspension came after violence took place in the national capital during the farmers' tractor rally.

On Saturday, the interior ministry said mobile internet services had been suspended at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri - the districts where farmers have gathered - until 23:00 (17:30 GMT) on Sunday.

Farm leaders said the hunger strike by hundreds of protesters, primarily at Singhu and two other protest sites and created to coincide with the anniversary of the death of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, would show Indians that the demonstrations were non-violent. Security arrangements continue to be strengthened at the Delhi-UP border site, which is galvanising farmers from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand days after an emotional appeal by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait.

But outside, on top of the internet cut, police blocked a main road into the Ghazipur camp on the outskirts of Delhi. "It was not done by farmers but all were part of a smear campaign bring run to defame the movement", he alleged.

The government action comes amid rising tensions at the locations where farmers are based. They were ordered to leave by Thursday night.

Delhi Police personnel seen holding lance-like metal batons
Delhi Police personnel seen holding lance-like metal batons

Vehicles proceeding towards and coming from the protest site are being checked while drones have been deployed for aerial monitoring at the site, officials said. Several injuries were reported.

What are the proposed farming reforms?

The government says the new laws will open up opportunities for farmers.

As many as 510 police personnel were injured in the violence associated with protest against the farm laws, SN Srivastava told reporters.

The protesting farmers have expressed the apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

Agriculture employs about half of India's 1.3 billion population but the sector accounts for barely a sixth of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) - which measures the value of goods and services produced in the economy. The Modi government has said the reforms will benefit farmers and boost production through private investment.

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