WORLD India farmers end year-long mass protests against Modi reforms


India farmers end year-long mass protests against Modi reforms


18:35, December 09, 2021

Indian farmers formally ended year-long mass protests Thursday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi abandoned his push for agricultural reforms, a protest leader said.

Indian youth congress (IYC) members hold torches as they shout slogans during a protest in New Delhi on October 13, 2021. (File photo: AFP)

Thousands of people have been camped on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi since last year to campaign against laws they said would have led to a corporate takeover of the sector.

Modi's Hindu-nationalist government rushed through a repeal of the laws last month in a rare backdown, and farmer representatives said Thursday they had agreed to stand down after further concessions.

A victory march will be held Saturday to celebrate the campaign's victory against the reforms, protest leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said at a protest camp on the outskirts of New Delhi, news agency PTI reported.

Protests had carried on in smaller numbers after the repeal as farmers sought additional support measures, including compensation for the families of hundreds of farmers they say died during the protests.

They also sought concessions on electricity prices and a government pledge not to prosecute them for clearing their fields by burning.

Controlled fires are the cheapest way for farmers to clear their fields before the new growing season.

But smoke from the fires regularly shrouds the capital New Delhi in smog each winter and the government banned the practice two years ago.

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