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03 Dec 2020 | 10:41 AM UTC

India: Protests in solidarity with farmers likely across India through mid-December

India News Alert

Protests in solidarity with farmers likely across India through mid-December; Increased security and disruptions likely, clashes possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/3/2020, 12:00 AM until 12/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India

Event

Protests are likely nationwide across India through at least mid-December in solidarity with farmers protesting outside the national capital, Delhi, and to denounce controversial agriculture laws. Farmers have been protesting the laws recently passed through Parliament, with protests also occurring in multiple states, including Maharashtra and Rajasthan, on Dec. 3. Transport workers affiliated with the All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) plan to strike across multiple north Indian states, including the National Capital Region, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, from Dec. 8. Other planned events include:

  • Gujarat: Farmers will demonstrate across the state on Dec. 5. High rural participation is likely, urban disruptions unlikely.
  • Jharkhand: Multiple political parties and organizations plan to protest at block headquarters on Dec. 5. They will also block roadways statewide on Dec. 10.
  • Karnataka: Farmers intend to demonstrate outside the Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru, on Dec. 8.
  • Maharashtra: Demonstrators intend to burn effigies statewide on Dec. 5. High rural participation is likely, urban disruptions unlikely.
  • Tamil Nadu: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party plans to hold protests at district headquarters from 10:00 (local time) on Dec. 5.

Other demonstrations are likely through mid-December. Participation in protests will vary, with gatherings in larger cities possibly attracting hundreds to a few thousand people. Popular protest locations in urban centers are government buildings, monuments, and public squares. Demonstrators may block or march along roadways and rail tracks, causing localized transport disruptions. Prolonged or widespread blockades may occur in northern Indian states, affecting shipping routes and the supply of essential items.

Security personnel will almost certainly monitor gatherings and will likely enforce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) gathering restrictions. Clashes between protesters and police are possible, especially if security forces forcibly attempt to disperse demonstrators. Localized transport disruptions are likely, especially if transport workers are striking or if protesters are obstructing traffic on roadways. Clashes may result in localized business disruptions.

Context

Farmers claim that the three agricultural amendments passed in September favor corporate interests over local farmers. The central government maintains that the legislation will improve agricultural income by expanding direct market participation for farmers while continuing existing protections in state-run markets. A coalition of farmer unions - mainly from Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh states - have been holding disruptive protests and blocking borders of Delhi since Nov. 25 amid unsuccessful negotiations with central ministers. Related unrest is likely to continue in the short term and may result in sporadic clashes.

Advice

Avoid protests due to possible clashes. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and take shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Heed all security personnel instructions. Confirm business appointments, deliveries, road status, and transport arrangements on planned protest days. Allow additional travel time near protests. Monitor trusted local sources for protest information, as organizers may not announce details in advance.

 

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