FARMERS ON THE WARPATH
Police on the border between Uttar Pradesh and Delhi prevented protesting farmers from entering the capital, using water cannons, teargas and, according to some witnesses, lathis. The force used, critics said, was entirely out of proportion. Organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), the march began in Haridwar on September 23, with farmers banding together to protest the low minimum support prices and the high cost of fuel. As with many other farmers’ marches over the last harrowing year, the BKU is also calling for loan waivers to help farmers cope with crippling debts as they continue to battle adverse weather and crop failures. Some of the farmers described the “excessive” policing as “undemocratic”. After a meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh, some of the farmers’ demands were accepted but the protests are likely to continue.