India deployed hundreds of police and paramilitary forces at a New Delhi border on Saturday as thousands of farmers from neighbouring states blocked major roads into the capital, in protest against recent agricultural deregulation.
A day after clashes ended with an agreement that the farmers could demonstrate in the capital, tensions rose again in the protests over laws that farmers fear could rob them of minimum guaranteed prices for their produce.
Farmers who arrived in trucks, buses and tractors at Delhi’s Singhu border with Haryana state on Friday, blocked the main northern highway into the capital on Saturday morning, chanting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and waved the red, yellow and green flags of farmer’s unions.
They appeared ready for a long sit-in and refused to relocate to a designated protest site, raising fears of fresh clashes between security forces and protesters.
On Friday, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters before letting them march into the capital and stage a protest at a designated site.