Clashes between police and protesting farmers in Haryana, India lead to fatality

Tensions escalated on Wednesday in India at the Khanauri border amidst the ongoing farmers’ protest, as a clash erupted between farmers and the Haryana Police leading to the death of 24-year-old protester Shubh Karan Singh according to statements from multiple politicians, including Member of Parliament Sukhbir Singh Badal, and the leader of the farmers’ protest.

The farmers are planning to suspend the “Dilli Chalo” march for two days following Singh’s death. Chief Minister of Punjab Bhagwant Mann announced a compensation of 1 crore will be paid to Singh’s family. The Haryana Police initially denied that any deaths had taken place due to the clashes. According to the Haryana Police, protesters surrounded the police and attacked them with sticks, maces and stones. The Haryana government has invoked the National Security Act.

Farmers’ protest leaders have alleged their protest was peaceful and condemned what they perceived as delaying tactics from the government in addressing their demands. Amnesty International has condemned the Indian government’s disproportionate restrictions on the right to peaceful protest to quell the “Dilli Chalo” protests.

The clash comes as tensions on the Khanauri border have reached an all-time high. The primary objective of the protests is to advocate for guaranteed minimum support prices (MSPs) for agricultural produce. The farmers have presented a comprehensive set of demands, including relief from agricultural debts and opposition to Foreign Direct Investment and corporatization in farming. However, the most pressing demand remains the assurance of MSPs. Despite the government’s annual announcements of support prices for over 20 crops, it primarily benefits a small fraction of farmers by purchasing rice and wheat at these levels.