Indian Farmers Resuming Delhi March, Police Deploy Tear Gas

Indian Farmers Resuming Delhi March, Police Deploy Tear Gas

Indian Farmers Resuming Delhi March, Police Deploy Tear Gas

Indian farmers, riding on agricultural machinery, have recommenced their journey towards the capital city of New Delhi amidst an impasse with the government regarding assured prices for their agricultural yield.

On Wednesday, the police resorted to using tear gas against a large group of Indian farmers who were trying to march towards the capital, New Delhi. These farmers had brought cranes and excavators with them, as they were dissatisfied with the government’s stance on crop prices.

For the past week, the authorities have been preventing the farmers, who are mainly from Punjab, a northern state, from advancing by setting up barricades on a highway near the village of Shambhu, which is approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from Delhi.

Last week, the protesters temporarily halted their demonstration while government ministers engaged in discussions with the unions. Regrettably, despite engaging in several rounds of negotiations, we have not witnessed significant progress.

Earlier this week, the farmers’ groups rejected a government proposal that offered five-year contracts and guaranteed support prices for crops like corn, cotton, and pulses.

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Indian Farmers stare down at the riot police

Farmers along the highway that separates Punjab state and Haryana confronted riot police on Wednesday. The area was heavily fortified with metal spikes and concrete barricades.

Approximately 10,000 individuals, accompanied by 1,200 tractors and wagons, had gathered at the location, according to Haryana police.

Television footage depicted some farmers wearing face masks to shield themselves from tear gas.

One of the farmers’ leaders, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, expressed his discontent with the extensive barricades, stating, “It is unjust to obstruct our path in such a manner. We seek a peaceful march to Delhi. “If we do not meet our requirements, we must actively seek a resolution to address our demands.”

Arjun Munda, the Agriculture Minister, urged farmers to uphold tranquility and place trust in government dialogues for the resolution of their concerns.

“Through dialogue, a resolution will undoubtedly be reached,” he conveyed to Indian news agency ANI.

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What are the desires of India’s agricultural community?

Indian Farmers Resuming Delhi March, Police Deploy Tear Gas

India’s farmers are advocating for the implementation of a legislation that establishes a minimum price for all crops, expanding upon an existing government program that covers essential commodities such as rice and wheat.

Additionally, they are requesting other benefits, including relief from debt and the provision of universal pensions for farmers aged 60 and above.

These protests coincide with the upcoming general elections in May, as farmers hold significant influence as a voting bloc and are particularly crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The demonstrators aim to replicate the success of a previous year-long farmers’ blockade of highways leading to Delhi, which exerted pressure on Modi’s government to repeal a set of agricultural laws in 2021.

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