Everything was not hunky-dory during U.S. President Barack Obama's Mumbai visit. As the President got a warm welcome, the police kept the protesters at bay, clearly intending to not let the voices of dissent reach his ears.
The Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of Mumbai protested against President Obama on Saturday and demanded that Warren Anderson, the former chairperson of Union Carbide, be handed over to India. “Do justice to the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy,” the placards held by protesters at Churchgate read.
The protesters also demanded that America stop influencing Indian foreign policy and hand over David Headley to India. Headley is under investigation in the U.S. for his alleged links with Lashkar-e-Taiba and who is involved in plotting 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.
Protests were held in Vidarbha too, the eastern part of Mahrashtra, infamous for the high rate of farmers' suicides. On Friday, the farmers protested against the U.S. policy of providing huge subsidies to cotton farmers in the U.S.. They also wrote a memorandum to him.
“U.S. President Barack Obama is our guest and we respect him … [But he] should know that the U.S. policy of providing huge subsidies to cotton farmers in America has triggered over 2,16,000 farmland suicides in India,” Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief Kishor Tiwari said at a rally in Hiwara, Yavatmal, on Friday.
“While the whole country is celebrating Diwali, we are sitting on a fast and mourning the deaths of our husbands so that these suicides end,” Bharati Pawar, said during the rally.
The protesters demanded a ban on Bt Cotton seeds. “They have ruined the rural cotton-growing economy of Vidarbha,” Mr. Tiwari said.
The VJAS is planning to organise a larger protest when Mr. Obama addresses Parliament in Delhi on Monday.