Tractors to Delhi: How thousands of farmers marched on Indian capital

FILE PHOTO: Rally to protest against the newly passed farm bills, on a highway on the outskirts of New Delhi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Thousands of farmers overwhelmed police in central Delhi on Jan. 26, India’s Republic Day, eventually storming the city’s historic Red Fort.

    Angry with agricultural reforms they fear will benefit large private buyers at the expense of growers, tens of thousands of farmers have been camped peacefully at sites on the outskirts of Delhi for more than two months.

    What began as a parade of tractors and farmers protesting around the city’s fringes on Republic Day turned to chaos when some farmers diverted from agreed routes, broke through barricades and clashed with police, who responded with tear gas and batons. The violence left one dead and hundreds injured.

    (Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3t67WT6 in an external browser to see an interactive graphic about how the farmers amassed in Delhi)

    At Singhu, one of the three entry points into the city, the police estimated that 6-7,000 tractors had gathered, the largest of three groups.

    Unrest among an estimated 150 million landowning farmers is one of the biggest challenges to the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he came to power in 2014.

(Editing by Karishma Singh and Mike Collett-White)

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