COVID ‘spread’? India warns against big farmers’ protests | Agricultural Issues
The daily number in India for new coronavirus infections is up by 222,315 – the highest 24-hour increase in the world – the government’s performance shows on Monday.
Indian government officials have urged farmers to suspend their protests this week for fear of “mass casualties” as COVID-19 deaths exceeded 300,000 on Monday.
More than half of the deaths occurred three weeks ago in the second wave of a new virus found in India, a number of political and religious rallies, as well as the dropdown of security guards, health officials and experts.
Now farmers have raised fears that they will hold mass demonstrations on Wednesday across the country to cover six months of struggle to end agricultural markets.
Farmers living outside Delhi despite the risk of contracting the virus, a committee of farmers’ organizations wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to scrap the rules to release the shares.
The letter said: “We do not wish to disclose to the farmers who are participating in the protests or to any other person of the potential dangers that can be avoided.”
But tough laws that could make farmers’ lives vulnerable to agri-business are a matter of life and death, he said.
Twelve opposition parties, including Congress, issued a statement stating that they represented farmers, a voting party in many parts of India.
The fear is that a rally on the outskirts of Delhi’s capital could be a “widespread” affair such as the Kumbh Mela (Festival of Jars) on the banks of the Ganges River last month when thousands took over the sanctuary, or crowded political rallies ‘countries with regional elections.
“Please do not act negligently, these protests are completely illegal when lives are at stake,” Amarinder Singh, the prime minister of Punjab, where the farmers’ protests came from, said in a statement.
India’s daily number of coronavirus infections has risen by 222,315, which the government has shown Monday – the highest increase in the world for 24 hours so far, even though it has dropped by 400,000 earlier this month.
The largest country in South Asia has recorded 26.75 million COVID-19 cases, second only to the United States. Deaths rose by 4,454 to 303,720.
Health experts say the death toll could be twice as high as those reported dead by COVID-19. Most of the bodies have been washed in the Ganges or found in shallow tombs along the river.