Facebook and Instagram accounts blocked after live video: protesting farmers

Facebook and Instagram accounts blocked after live video: protesting farmers

Protesting farmers said their Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended on Sunday.

New Delhi:

Facebook and Instagram accounts used by farmers to protest the government’s new agricultural laws were suspended on Sunday after a live broadcast, protesters alleged, sparking a debate over online censorship.

The managers of Kisan Ekta Morcha, one of the largest sites used for the movement with over 7 lakh followers, said their page had been removed from Facebook for violating community standards on spam.

Her page on Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook and fights allegations of favoring the ruling BJP and government to protect their business interests, has faced similar measures and has been banned from sharing new posts, farmers said.

According to the demonstration groups, the curbs came immediately after a live broadcast from Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, one of the leaders of the protest, announcing that farmers will be on an indefinite hunger strike from Monday.

Mr Yadav also urged people to slap plates during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s next monthly radio broadcast, Mann ki Baat, due next Sunday, to ask the Prime Minister, “When will you hear our (peasant) baat ? “

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In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister had urged people to hit plates to thank the workers at the front.

Thousands of farmers have been camping on the borders of New Delhi for over three weeks, urging the central government to pull back on reforms that aim to invest in the outdated agricultural sector, but which farmers believe will be at the mercy of large corporations.

The protesters, led by around 40 unions, have repeatedly rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers’ attempts to reach a compromise. This is the greatest challenge facing the country’s farmers in his six-year tenure.

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