On 3 October, a few days after Indian farmers relaunched their protest movement against pro-corporate agricultural reforms by India’s far-right regime, four protesters in Uttar Pradesh state were mowed down by a car carrying the son of a government minister. Following widespread protests and Supreme Court criticism of the police’s failure to arrest the son, Ashish Mishra, he has now been taken into custody.
In violence following the killings several others were killed, including the driver of the car and two activists from the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In the last months of 2020 and the first months of 2021, Indian farmers and their supporters organised some of the biggest demonstrations in history, in the biggest challenge to Narendra Modi’s government so far. Covid pushed the movement down but it never disappeared.
The farmers killed on Sunday are not the first martyrs of this movement. Hundreds have died as as result of protesting outdoors for long periods in harsh conditions, as well as as a result of state violence.