VOA News – Feb 6, 2021
Aerial images show farmers stopping cars and trucks on a highway near New Delhi. Tens of thousands of police officers have been deployed across the country in a bid to smother new protests against the government’s agriculture reforms.
Thousands of Indian farmers blocked highways in the country Saturday as they escalated their 10-week-protest to demand the repeal of three farm laws.
In some places they used tractors and boulders to block roads, in others they chanted slogans and waved flags or squatted along highways for three hours in what is seen as a “symbolic” protest.
Nearly 50,000 security personnel were deployed in the Indian capital, which the government has blocked from the farmers with concrete and steel barriers and concertina wire outside three main sites where protesters have camped since late November.
The protesters had, however, said they will not enforce the road blockade in the capital, which witnessed violence and clashes when some farmers broke through police barricades during a farmers’ rally on January 26.
Although the protests were widely expected to wind down, they gained fresh momentum in recent days with thousands more pouring into protest sites on New Delhi’s borders and vowing not to return until the contentious laws are scrapped.