Eight people, including at least four protesters, were killed on Sunday in an escalation of violence in agrarian protests in Uttar Pradesh, India, in a motorcade by Indian Home Minister Ajay Mishra.
The clash took place in Lakhimpur Geri district in the north of the country and was formed in the backdrop of violent protests by farmers as the government approved three new agricultural laws. Ashish, the son of minister Ajay Misra, may have been involved in the incident, which led to the deaths of two farmers who were traveling in the vehicle, according to protesters. Minister and victim Ashish Misra denies being outraged in the guise of “if he had, he would not be alive now”.
The government version apologizes that the driver “lost control” when he was hit by stones by protesters, and offers the victims 4.5 million rupees (equivalent to about 52,000 euros) in compensation. As a result of the outrage, a clash began that ended with the deaths of three members of the ruling BJP, a driver and two farmers. Police arrested six people involved and lodged complaints against fourteen people, including Ashish Misra.
Protesters will intensify protests in various parts of the country
Indian authorities suspended internet service in the state of Uttar Pradesh this morning and barred political leaders from entering the area to ease tensions. For his part, Dharmendra Malik, one of the leaders of the struggles, confirmed to Reuters today that we will intensify the “struggle” in various parts of the country to highlight the plight of farmers.
Conflict has now erupted, but it has been more than a year since laws were passed to modernize the agricultural sector, which represents a large segment of the Indian population. The new laws will allow farmers to sell to private consumers in addition to the security markets in the state. The department fears that this will expose the market and force them to sell their land to large landowners at a much lower price than currently set. More than ten months of talks between the people and the Narendra Modi government have been in vain and tensions are rising in anticipation of several days of violence.
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