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‘Delhi chalo’ protest in India causes tensions and heavy disruptions

Farmers warned of a massive tractor rally if the demands not met in January 4 talks. Source: AAP Image/EPA/STR

The mass protest called by several farmers' unions, urging hundreds of thousands of Punjab farmers to converge into New Delhi has caused tensions on the Punjab-Haryana-Delhi borders. There is a heavy police presence and water cannons have been used to disperse the crowds, during worrying surges in coronavirus infections in many Indian states.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a large scale 'Delhi Chalo' protest planned for November 26-27 is underway in northern India.

The Punjab-Haryana border was sealed with barricades in preparation and bus services were suspended.

Hundreds of thousands of farmers began to make their way from villages in Punjab in tractors and trolleys, collecting in massive numbers at the Delhi border.

They are demanding a repeal of the three farming legislations recently enacted by the Indian government.

Water cannon is used against farmers by Haryana state police to stop them from entering Haryana as they march towards New Delhi to protest against new farm laws,
Water cannon is used against farmers by Haryana state police to stop them from entering Haryana as they march towards New Delhi to protest against new farm laws
AAP ImageEPA/STR

There is massive police presence at potential hotspots and already, water cannons have been used to disperse crowds. The situation at the Haryana and Delhi borders are reported to be particularly tense.

Hear more about this in our weekly India Diary.

Also in the latest round up, hear about: 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged states to remain focussed on reducing coronavirus infection rates. He met chief ministers of the eight states where COVID-19 rates are high and urged them to ensure that recovery and fatality rates remain low.
  • There is a rapprochement between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full report.

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