Indian farmers renew protest demanding guaranteed crop prices


(MENAFN) Tens of thousands of Indian farmers are once again mobilizing towards the capital to reiterate their demands for assured crop prices, reigniting a movement reminiscent of one from two years ago that compelled the government to revoke contentious agricultural laws. Amidst a heightened police presence, including the use of tear gas and detentions, authorities have heavily fortified border points leading to New Delhi in an effort to deter protesters from entering the city.

The government is keen on managing the new wave of demonstrations to prevent a recurrence of the 2021 protests, during which tens of thousands of farmers staged a prolonged sit-in outside the capital enduring harsh weather conditions and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originating from neighboring Haryana and Punjab states, farmers have embarked on their journey riding tractors and trucks, underscoring their dissatisfaction with the government's failure to address key demands from previous protests.

In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acceded to farmer demands and repealed a set of agricultural laws that had sparked the initial protests, with farmers expressing concerns over potential adverse impacts on their livelihoods. However, farmer groups spearheading the current march argue that the government has made insufficient progress on other crucial issues, including ensuring guaranteed crop prices, doubling farmers' income, and providing loan waivers.

Central to their grievances is the demand for legislation that would establish minimum support prices, highlighting the fundamental importance of this provision in their ongoing protests. As tensions escalate and the standoff between farmers and authorities intensifies, the renewed protest underscores the persistence of agrarian discontent and the unresolved challenges facing India's agricultural sector.

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