India Farm protests threaten to worsen after 8 deaths

NOVO DELI – Eight people died on Sunday in an incident in which farmers said it was the fault of a prominent Indian leader as demonstrations against government reforms over the country’s agricultural laws turned into a more volatile period of nearly a year. threatens to happen.

Police are investigating the deaths of four farmers and four others in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Protest leaders said a vehicle as part of a convoy attacked protesters.

Police said they were investigating whether Ashish Mishra hit the protesters in the car, protest leaders said. He is the son of India’s Minister of Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra.

Ashish Mishra told an Indian television network on Monday that the allegations against him were “baseless”.

The incident drew further attention after Uttar Pradesh police arrested Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, leader of India’s largest opposition party. He was arrested in the early hours of Monday when the convoy, which took him to the family of the slain farmer, was stopped by Uttar Pradesh police.

State police have temporarily suspended internet service in the area, apparently to ease tensions.

These events have given new political meaning to the protests that have swept New Delhi, the capital of India and beyond since late November. Demonstrations against a trio of market-friendly agricultural laws have led many north Indian farmers to occupy protest camps on the outskirts of the capital, saying many would be fired from business.

Farmers continue to drive to Dharna and congregate through the deadly wave of Covid-19 and heavy rains.

The tension has become violent again and again. The worst happened in January when farmers with thousands of tractors stormed New Delhi and destroyed police barricades. In return, the government sent troops to arrest farm managers and clear the tents where they had camped for months.

Protests in the state of Haryana, near Uttar Pradesh, escalated last month when a local official was filmed ordering police to use force to break up a rally. Officials sent additional troops on and off the internet. However, tensions did not subside until the government agreed to investigate the official’s behavior.

The incident took place on Sunday in the Lahimpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Protesters tried to block Mishra and State Minister Bharatiya Janata’s visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As Mr Mishra’s convoy passed through the village, according to farmers’ union leaders, a vehicle occupied by his son and others accidentally fell on top of the farmers.

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