In pictures: India farmers clash with police in Delhi

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image copyrightREUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Tens of thousands of farmers in India have taken their protest against agricultural reforms right to the heart of the capital Delhi.

The mass tractor rally coincided with India's Republic Day and was agreed with the authorities - but a number of protesters diverted from the set route and clashed with police who used batons and tear gas to try to to hold them back.

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The original route was around the outskirts of Delhi, away from the planned Republic Day parade in the city centre.

image copyrightREUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
image copyrightREUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUI

Farmers were showered with petals as they marched.

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But as some left the agreed route farmers used their tractors to remove barricades.

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image copyrightREUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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Police used tear gas to try to control the rally.

Tens of thousands of farmers from the northern states of Punjab and Haryana marched on Delhi in late November and began sit-ins at the city limits, many of which still continue.

The new laws aim to open up agriculture to the free market but some farmers have claimed they will make them vulnerable to private companies and threaten their livelihoods. More than half of Indians work on farms.

Last week the farmers rejected a government offer to put the laws on hold - they said they want the laws fully repealed.

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Some of the protesters made their way to the historic Red Fort in the heart of the city centre.

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They flooded into the complex in their thousands, to press home their demands.

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Some even hoisted flags at the top of the dome on the Red Fort before police cleared the area.

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