Miniatures of Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg have been burned by counter-protesters in Delhi after she expressed support for India's protesting farmers in a series of controversial tweets.
In Delhi, scores of enraged protesters gathered to protest against several international celebrities including the pop star Rihanna and Greta Thunberg. Thunberg and Rihanna sparked outrage in India and drew the ire of the government after sending out tweets about the protests of farmers this week. The protesters set flames to photos of Rihanna and Thunberg and displayed banners warning against "International interference" in Indian affairs.
The Indian government has been cracking down on protesting farmers agitating for the repeal of several new agricultural laws after a march turned violent last week. The police sent in riot officers and paramilitary troops, blocking entry and exit to the protest sites and jamming mobile internet access.
The protests have become a very sensitive and polarizing issue in India and there appears to be no way to resolve the standoff, despite the fact that nine rounds of talks have been held between the government and the farmers. Farmers have said that they won't back down until a series of laws that were passed last year are repealed.
Greta Thunberg tweeted on Wednesday: "We stand in solidarity with farmers protests in India," linking the tweet to a news article on oppressive measures being used against the protesting farmers.
This followed an earlier post by Rihanna where she tweeted an article on the crackdown against the farmers and captioned it: "Why aren't we talking about this?!"
In response, the Indian government released a statement strictly warning celebrities against tweeting "sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.
Thunberg has refused to back down on her stance, in spite of a reported police investigation into her toolbox post, tweeting: "I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest.
“No amount of hate, threats, or violations of human rights will ever change that. #FarmersProtest.”