Protesting Indian farmers begin hunger strike

NEW DELHI (AGENCY) – Indian farmers began a one-day hunger strike yesterday in protest against new agricultural laws after a week of clashes with authorities that left one dead and
hundreds injured.

Angry at what they see as laws benefitting large private buyers at the expense of producers, tens of thousands of farmers have been camped at protest sites on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi for over two months.

Farmers raise their hand as they shout slogans during a day-long hunger strike to protest against new farm laws, at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. AP

A planned tractor parade on Tuesday’s Republic Day turned violent when some protesters deviated from pre-agreed routes, tore down barricades and clashed with police, who used tear gas to try and restrain them.

Sporadic clashes between protesters, police and groups shouting anti-farmer slogans have broken out on multiple occasions since then.

Farm leaders said yesterday’s hunger strike, to coincide with the death anniversary of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, would show Indians that the protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful.