India heavily increases security at farmer protest sites
Indian authorities have heavily increased security at three main protest sites outside New Delhi’s border, adding iron spikes, steel barricades and hundreds of riot police in an attempt to stop tens of thousands of demonstrating farmers from entering the capital
Via AP news wire
2 days ago
India Farmer Protests
India Farmer Protests (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Indian authorities heavily increased security at three main protest sites outside New Delhi’s border on Tuesday, adding iron spikes, steel barricades and hundreds of riot police in an attempt to stop tens of thousands of demonstrating farmers from entering the capital.
In Ghazipur, one of the protest sites, iron nails were embedded along the main highway. Cemented barricades were wrapped with coils of barbed wires as government forces guarded what looked like a security fortress.
Images of the barricades were widely shared on social media, with many comparing them to heavily militarized border fences.
Devender Singh, a protesting farmer from central Uttar Pradesh state, said the new security arrangements were intended to scare them away. “But farmers won't run away so easily,” he said.
The months-long farmer protests have rattled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of the city, braving the cold and rain, in a largely peaceful protest against new agriculture reform laws they say will devastate their income and make farmers vulnerable to corporate greed.
The heavy security and added measures come a week after the protests turned violent when farmers on tractors, horses and on foot broke through barricades and clashed with police to enter the city. They stormed New Delhi s 17th century Red Fort in a brief but dramatic takeover on Jan. 26, India's Republic Day.
One protester died and several hundred police officers were injured in the clashes. Officials have not said how many farmers were injured.