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Farmers’ protests in India have erupted in violence, making the area uneasy.

Violence erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri area in Uttar Pradesh during a protest against agricultural reforms. Eight people died in the violence, including four protesting farmers, due to which security has been strengthened in the northern Indian town. On social media, photos and videos showed vehicles on fire and people covered in blood. As the situation remains tight, opposition leaders have been barred from visiting the relatives of the victims.

Farmers claim fights began after a car from a federal minister’s motorcade drove over two protesting farmers, a claim denied by the minister.

According to farm leaders, the violence began on Sunday when federal minister Ajay Mishra’s son drove his car into a crowd of protesters. Farmers gathered in the district to oppose Mr Mishra’s and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit.

The protesters were angered by Mr Mishra’s earlier statement that the protests involved only “10-15 persons” and that “getting them to fall in line will take only two minutes.

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence, eight die in farmer's protest

On Monday morning, several important farm leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, arrived in the conflict area. Farmers will consult with communities before deciding on their next line of action, according to Mr Tikait. Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav told the BBC that police had prevented him from leaving his home.

On her way to meet the families of farmers killed in the tragedy, senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi was also held on Monday. Farmers fear agriculture changes would benefit commercial players at their expense, and violence in Lakhimpur Kheri signals a significant escalation in a 10-month-old protest against them.

Since November, tens of thousands of them have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi, asking that the rules be repealed. It is one of India’s longest-running farmer-led protests, pitting the community against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led administration.

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence, eight die in farmer's protest

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