Indian farmers stage nationwide protests against reforms

NEW DELHI, Sept. 27 (Reuters) – Indian farmers who oppose reforms they say threaten their livelihoods renewed their pressure against the changes with nationwide protests on Monday, a year after the laws were introduced. on the liberalization of the sector.

For 10 months, tens of thousands of farmers have camped out on the main roads around the capital New Delhi to oppose the laws in the longest-running farmers’ protest against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. read more

“Thousands of farmers have spread to different districts to ensure a full national strike aimed at reminding the government to repeal laws introduced to favor large private corporations,” Rakesh Tikait, a prominent farmer leader, told Reuters.

In Noida, a satellite city of New Delhi, farmers clashed with the police and pushed them to break through the barricades. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

In Gurgaon, another satellite city near the capital’s main airport, farmers crowded onto a road and blocked traffic, as protesters stormed a train station on the northern outskirts of New Delhi, a Reuters witness said.

Almost a dozen opposition parties have supported the farmers’ protest to increase pressure on the Modi administration to repeal the laws. read more .

Farmers block train tracks as part of protests against farm laws during nationwide protests in Sonipat, northern Haryana state, India, on September 27, 2021. REUTERS / Anushree Fadnavi

The legislation, introduced in September last year, deregulates the agricultural sector and allows farmers to sell products to buyers beyond government-regulated wholesale markets, where producers are guaranteed a minimum price.

Small farmers say the changes make them vulnerable to competition from large companies and that they could eventually lose support for the prices of staples such as wheat and rice.

The government says the reforms mean new opportunities and better prices for farmers.

Agriculture supports nearly half of India’s more than 1.3 billion people and accounts for about 15% of the $ 2.7 trillion economy.

Farmers union leaders say their protests did not disrupt emergency services.

The protests have been generally peaceful, but police and farmers clashed in New Delhi in January during a tractor procession and one protester was killed and more than 80 policemen injured. read more

Mayank Bhardwaj Report; Additional reporting by Anushree Fadnavis Edited by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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