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India farmers vow to intensify protest after deadly violence

Munawar zaman

Press TV, New Delhi

A disturbing video which PressTV cannot independently verify allegedly shows a group of farmers being run down by a convoy linked to a federal minister’s son from the ruling BJP in the northern Uttar Pradesh state’s Lakhimpur Kheri district.

The incident has sparked outrage across the country with farmers firm to intensity their months long protest against new farms laws. The state government has announced 4.5m Indian rupees compensation to the families of the victims and has appointed a retired High Court judge to investigate the matter.

The farmers have been protesting for months against the new agricultural reforms which they say will shatter their livelihoods and force them to sell their produce at cheaper prices which will favor the big corporations. The government however maintains the laws will open the farm sector, modernize agriculture and boost investment.

Tens of Thousands of farmers have been protesting for more than 10 months across the country, and several rounds of talks between the government and the farmers have failed to resolve the issues.

The country’s top court In January stayed the three farm laws, but the protesting farmers had refused to accept anything except repeal of the laws. Experts say this incident could pose a serious risk for the ruling BJP in the upcoming elections in the most populous and largest Indian state which is set to elect a new government early next year.

Agriculture makes up about 16 percent of India’s GDP and two thirds of the population depends on the farm sector. In recent years, small scale farmers have been battling dwindling prices for their crops, debt burden, high transportation and storage costs.

 


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