New Delhi, Jan 27 (efe-epa).- More than 300 policemen were injured in clashes with protesters during the massive farmers’ march against agrarian reform in New Delhi, police said Wednesday.
The Tuesday march, which was mostly peaceful along the route marked by authorities in the outskirts of the capital, turned violent when groups of protesters changed the route and entered the city center, triggering incidents with riot police that protected the entrances.
“More than 300 policemen were injured,” said Anil Mittal, New Delhi Police’s deputy spokesman, without providing further details, pending the official report in the next few hours.
Eish Singhal, New Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner, said there have also been 22 complaints of violence. Security forces had previously reported the death of a protester.
What was intended to be a festive day for the farmer movement, with the march of thousands of tractors through the capital to pressure the government against three laws that liberalize the agricultural sector, took an unexpected turn.
Some protesters, with the help of tractors and excavators, removed concrete barricades or vehicles that blocked their way, while riot police fired tear gas and used water cannons, without being able to contain them.
In key areas of the city center such as ITO Metro Station, clashes between riot police and protesters took place, in which both sides used violence. There were moments of special tension when several tractors attacked security forces before fleeing.
Another of the images of the day was that of hundreds of farmers with flags taking over the iconic Red Fort in the old town, where Indian leaders annually deliver a speech to the nation for Independence Day.
The main farmer organizations Tuesday condemned the violence and linked it to infiltrated “criminals” as part of a “conspiracy” to discredit the movement, which has gone on peacefully for months and said it would not stop.
“The peaceful protest continues, that is the label for today. We are going to use it, share it and make it viral, so that the voices of our farmers reach the Government and measures are taken,” Kisan Ekta Morcha, one of the main organizers of the march, wrote Wednesday on Twitter.
The march in the capital was backed Tuesday by thousands of rallies across India, pressure after two months of protests against the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal the three laws that liberalize both prices and sales. quantity of certain crops sold.
This situation now leads farmers to negotiate prices with companies within the distribution chain, something that according to them leaves them helpless in the face of large companies, as there are no safeguards to protect them from possible abuses.
The government, which even proposed an 18-month moratorium on the application of the laws, which the unions rejected, nevertheless said farmer will now be able to negotiate on their own terms. EFE-EPA