Angry Indian Growers Gather Near Parliament to Protest Farm Laws

Indian farmers, protesting against new agriculture laws they say threaten their livelihoods, started a sit-in near parliament in the capital, renewing a push for a repeal of the laws, Reuters reported. In the longest-running growers' protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, tens of thousands of farmers have camped out on major highways leading to New Delhi for more than seven months. "We are here to remind the government again that the anti-farmer laws need to be rolled back to protect Indian agriculture and millions of poor farmers from a complete takeover by large corporations," said Rakesh Tikait, a leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, one of the largest groupings of farmers. Farmers complained that before being allowed to gather at the central site, their identity cards were checked by police, who have tightened security, erecting barricades and checkposts to deter violence. The protest follows a clash with police by thousands of angry farmers late in January after they drove tractors into security barriers. One protester was killed and more than 80 police injured citywide. In parliament, key opposition leaders, such as Rahul Gandhi and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, asked the government to tackle the farmers' concerns and roll back the three controversial laws. Read more.

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