Indian farmers clash with police, face tear gas amid Republic Day protests



Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms breached barricades and clashed on Tuesday with police in the capital, who fired tear gas to restrain them, shortly after a convoy of tractors trundled through the city’s outskirts, Foreign Media reported.

Growers, angered by-laws they say help large, private buyers at the expense of producers, have camped outside New Delhi for almost two months, posing one of the biggest challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he came to power in 2014.

“Modi will hear us now, he will have to hear us now,” said Sukhdev Singh, 55, a farmer from the northern breadbasket state of Punjab, as he marched past the barricades.

Responding to reports of the clash, protest organizer Samyukt Kisan Morcha said only one of its parades had deviated from pre-arranged routes.

“Except for one group…our news is that all parades are happening on the pre-decided routes along with police,” the grouping of farm unions said in a statement.

Earlier, tens of thousands of bearded and turbanned farmers, many bundled against the winter cold, began the day by driving a convoy of tractors festooned with the Indian tricolor and the flags of their unions through the city fringe.



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