Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms on India’s 72 republic day on Tuesday amid clashes with police in the capital, who fired tear gas to restrain them.
Protesters defied tear gas shelling and continued to march on the highway as they raised slogans against the government.
Waving multicolored flags of different colours and holding placards, the protesting farmers marched on tractors and on foot from the outskirts of the city, where they had been camping for two months.
Police blocked several routes to the capital with metal and concrete barricades, and trucks so that the marching farmers could only take the routes permitted by the authorities.
But the farmers decided to enter the capital ahead of the permitted time, resulting in police launching tear gas and baton attacks on them.
Growers, angered by laws they say help large, private buyers at the expense of producers, have camped outside New Delhi for almost two months, posing one of the biggest challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he came to power in 2014.
Multiple rounds of negotiations between the government and the farmers’ unions have failed. Farmers have also rejected the government’s offer to suspend the laws for 18 months.