Farmers break barricades as protests return to Indian capital

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Protest over unfulfilled promises, shout slogans against PM Modi

Protesters broke barricades and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Monday, after thousands of farmers gathered to protest against what they said were unfulfilled promises by the government.

More than eight months after farmers called off a year-long protest and the government conceded to several of their demands, more than 5,000 farmers gathered in the centre of the capital to protest against Modi and his government.

Farmers are demanding that the government guarantee a minimum support price for all produce and clear all farmer debts, among other things, according to a statement from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the farmer organisation that organised the protest on Monday.

A spokesperson for the federal agriculture ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Protesters wielded banners and flags and broke through barriers as they marched towards the venue, shouting slogans against Modi.

Last November, Modi said he would roll back three farm laws that had aimed to deregulate produce markets but which farmers said would allow corporations to exploit them.

The federal government also agreed to set up a panel of growers and government officials to find ways of ensuring Minimum Support Prices (MSP), as the guaranteed rates are called, for all farm produce.

Last month, the federal government set up the panel and invited representatives of farmer organisations to join in.

Security around the borders of the national capital was tightened and police presence was heightened in and around the protest area.—Agencies

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