India farmers end year-long mass protests against Modi reforms

India farmers end year-long mass protests against Modi reforms

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New Delhi: A protest leader said that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi abandoned his efforts to promote agricultural reforms, Indian farmers officially ended a year-long large-scale protest on Thursday.

Thousands of people have been camped on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi since last year to campaign against laws they said would have led to a corporate takeover of the sector.

Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government rushed through a repeal of the laws last month in a rare backdown, and farmer representatives said Thursday they had agreed to stand down after further concessions.

A victory march will be held Saturday to celebrate the campaign’s victory against the reforms, protest leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said at a protest camp on the outskirts of New Delhi, news agency PTI reported.

Protests had carried on in smaller numbers after the repeal as farmers sought additional support measures, including compensation for the families of hundreds of farmers they say died during the protests.

They also sought to make concessions on electricity prices, and the government promised not to prosecute them for burning and clearing fields.

Controlled fires are the cheapest way for farmers to clear their fields before the new growing season.

But smoke from the fires regularly shrouds the capital New Delhi in smog each winter and the government banned the practice two years ago.

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