INTRODUCTION: Farmers in many parts of India have been demonstrating and demanding higher prices for their produce.
GV Demonstrators with banners shouting near Badli village, near Delhi, over farm produce prices
GV Police standing on outskirts of demonstration watching
GV Demonstrators chanting and surging forward
SV Police watching PAN TO protesters lying on railway lines
GVs Demonstrators sitting on railway lines, chanting (2 shots)
GVs Demonstrators arrested and herded aboard police van (3 shots)
GV Women demonstrators being driven off in open truck and police van departing with men arrested (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Farmers in many parts of India have been demonstrating and demanding higher prices for their produce. Thousands have been arrested and eight people killed in clashes between farmers and police. At the villages of Badli near Delhi, over fifty farmers were arrested for staging a protest which blocked the railway on Friday (16 January).
SYNOPSIS: Farm produce is usually bought in bulk by the Government before being passed to consumers. The farmers claim crop price rises have not kept pace with increased costs, and are demanding better prices. Many demonstrators have tried to block communications -- particularly railway lines that pass close to the fields. At Badli village more than 50 farmers were arrested for trying to squat on the rail lines. They had begun their protest early despite the cold winter fog.
The Badli unrest was just one of many similar protests. On Thursday (15 January) farmers in Gujarat, Western India, marched to the state capital for a rally. A similar march recently in the neighbouring state Maharashtra resulted in 10,000 farmers and opposition leaders being arrested. The farmers were later released. In another incident, in the southern State of Tamil Nadu, eight people were killed in clashes with police. State Governments have increased the prices of some crops, but farmers claim it is not enough. The Government maintains that to meet demands in full would worsen inflation, but farmers' leader Sharad Joshi says farmers have been kept poor at the expense of industrial development. Food grain output is officially expected to reach record levels by next June. But Mr. Joshi said little of the benefit would find its way back to farmers.