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Maharashtra farmers burn Obama effigy over humiliation of diplomat
Wednesday December 18, 2013 11:54 PM, IANS

Farmers in a Maharashtra village Wednesday burnt an effigy of US President Barack Obama, protesting the humiliation and arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade who hails from the state.

Scores of farmers gathered in Pandharkawda village in Yavatmal, Vidarbha, and raised slogans against the "racist and dictatorial attitude" of the US towards Asians.

They demanded an unconditional apology from the US for insulting Khobragade, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari told IANS.

The farmers also demanded a total ban on all American seeds and agricultural inputs, which have created problems for Indian agriculturists and led to a spurt in suicides, he added.

"The farmers have always been protesting against US incursions into the Indian agrarian sector. But the spontaneous gathering of poor peasants to protest against the treatment meted out to Khobragade and the US companies shows the deep anger. Many farmers have also resolved to boycott all American goods," Tiwari said.

The 39-year-old Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, was strip-searched, cavity-searched and swabbed for DNA after her arrest in New York on charges of visa fraud. She was confined with criminals before being released on a $250,000 bail.

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