Dutch police open fire at teenage tractor driver during farmer protest

Dutch police open fire at teenage tractor driver during farmer protest


During a heated day of farm protests, the Dutch police opened fire at a 16-year-old boy in a tractor and detained three demonstrators in the northern Netherlands.

Police in northern Friesland said on Wednesday that no one was hurt in the incident that involved warning shots and direct targeting of a tractor that broke free from a line. They claimed that he tried to drive his tractor into police cars.

The National Criminal Investigation Service (Rijksrecherch) said that an investigation into the incident will be conducted as a result of officers discharging their weapons.

Farmers are protesting against the new government plans to cut nitrogen emissions as they fear it would hurt their livelihoods.

FARMERS’ UNREST

The unrest among Dutch farmers was triggered by a government proposal to slash emissions of pollutants like nitrogen oxide and ammonia by 50 per cent by 2030. Provincial governments have been given a year to formulate plans to achieve the goal.

The reforms are expected to include reducing livestock and buying up some farms whose animals produce large amounts of ammonia. Farmers argue they are being unfairly targeted and are being given no perspective for their future.

The plans have sparked immense rage from farmers and their allies throughout the country. Dutch farmers have blocked supermarkets, distribution centers and roads in protests in the past week.

A dozen tractors protested on the famous Dam Square in Amsterdam, carrying banners saying, “The war has begun and we will win.” Others took to highways to express frustration, with tractors driving at a walking pace causing large traffic jams.

In Arnhem, a city in the east, farmers and their tractors gathered in front of a provincial governmental building. Another target was distribution centres, which were not accessible in more than 15 locations.

With farmers blocking access, supermarkets were left with empty shelves and consumers with empty shopping trolleys.

(With inputs from AP)

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