Farmers protesting the central government’s agrarian reforms clashed with the police in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district on Christmas Day, with dramatic footage showing the demonstrators running a tractor over a barricade as dozens of policemen try to hold them back.
A video posted on Twitter by news agency ANI showed a large crowd of protesters’ face-off with the police. A few protesters driving a green tractor charge at a barricade, running it down and forcing the policemen to finally get out of the way.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, whose party severed ties with the BJP over the new farm laws, said the police tried to block the protests without giving any justifiable reason and launched a crackdown on protesters who were peaceful at first.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out near several entry points to the capital since last month against three new laws they say will lead to the dismantling of regulated markets.
They also fear the government would stop buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.