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Indian police use tear gasoline as protesting farmers rally to capital

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DEVELOPING STORYClashes as farmers maintain ‘tractor rally’ to coincide with India’s Republic Day celebrations to demand repeal of recent farm legal guidelines.New Delhi, India – A rally by tens of hundreds of Indian farmers to the capital New Delhi has turned violent, with police utilizing tear gasoline and baton-charging the protesters as they broke barricades.
The clashes befell on Tuesday morning as farmers held a “tractor rally” to the town to coincide with India’s Republic Day celebrations. They are demanding the repeal of three farm legal guidelines handed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities final yr.
Protesters defied tear gasoline shelling and continued to march on the freeway as they raised slogans in opposition to the federal government.
Farmers broke a number of police barricades as they marched [Bilal Kuchay/Al Jazeera]Waving multicoloured flags of various colors and holding placards, the protesting farmers marched on tractors and on foot from the outskirts of the town, the place that they had been tenting for 2 months.
“We will not surrender. We will win or die” learn a placard, reflecting a sentiment that has galvanised the farmers in opposition to the brand new legal guidelines, which they are saying will destroy their livelihoods by permitting personal firms to manage the nation’s huge agricultural sector.
Tractors at Singhu border outdoors New Delhi [Bilal Kuchay/Al Jazeera]At Singhu border outdoors New Delhi, the epicentre of the weeks-long protest, tons of of police and paramilitary forces had been seen, some carrying sticks, assault rifles and tear gasoline, as a water cannon stood by.
Police blocked a number of routes to the capital with steel and concrete barricades, and vans in order that the marching farmers may solely take the routes permitted by the authorities.
Gurbachan Singh, 73, from Amritsar in Punjab state who owns 12 acres (4.eight hectares) of land, slept on a tractor for the whole night time, braving the freezing chilly, in order that he can take a lead within the tractor rally.
“They made these legislations and we will get them repealed,” he instructed Al Jazeera, including that the tractor rally was a “show of our togetherness and a show of strength”.
“I am not worried about my age and scared that I might get injured or hurt in the rally.”
Gurjant Singh slept on his tractor the whole night time regardless of freezing chilly [Bilal Kuchay/Al Jazeera]Gurjant Singh from Goindwal in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district has been on the Singhu border protest web site for the final 10 days.
“We will go back to our homes only when these legislations are taken back,” he stated.
Multiple rounds of negotiations between the federal government and the farmers’ unions have failed. Farmers have additionally rejected the federal government’s provide to droop the legal guidelines for 18 months.
Singh fears the legal guidelines will take away his land and livelihood. He defended the standard system of government-controlled markets for his or her produce, offered via a fee agent.
“In the time of financial crisis, we seek help from commission agents. Even if we go to the agent in the middle of the night, they will help us. Will the big corporates do that?” he requested.
“If we do not want these laws, why is this government enforcing them on us? These legislations should have been made with the consent of farmers but they are imposing the laws on us.”

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