NEW DELHI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Many people including policemen were injured Sunday in India as protesting farmers clashed with police in the northern state of Haryana, officials said.
The clash occurred in Hisar, about 243 km southwest of Chandigarh, the capital city of Haryana.
Police fired dozens of tear smoke shells in order to disperse the protesters, who ransacked barricades and tried to storm the venue where Haryana's Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had come to inaugurate a 500-bed hospital for treating COVID-19 patients.
The farmers in the state were protesting against three controversial farm laws passed by the Indian government in November last year.
"Today hundreds of farmers defied police deployment, following which a violent clash broke out between them and police. The policemen on duty resorted to baton charging and fired tear smoke shells, triggering stone-throwing from the protesting farmers," an official said. "We are being told many people including policemen were injured during the clashes."
Haryana has been under a lockdown for the past two weeks, and local government on Sunday extended it by another week until May 24 over the ongoing pandemic.
Local media reports said 50 farmers and 20 policemen were injured during the confrontation.
Reports said following the clash parts of the national highway including the Grand Trunk Road were blocked by the farmers.
Farmers said the government was provoking the farmers and many of their supporters have been detained by police.
Thousands of farmers have, in the past months, been protesting against the federal government's three new agricultural laws. They have been camping at various points along the Indian capital New Delhi's border, refusing to back off despite COVID-19. Enditem