Hundreds of supporters of left-wing groups marched in India’s capital on Tuesday to protest a visit by the US secretary of state and denounce American policies in the Middle East.
They demonstrated in central New Delhi as riot police watched along the streets ahead of Mike Pompeo’s scheduled arrival later in the evening.
Pompeo is traveling to India after visiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on a trip aimed at building a global coalition to counter Iran. He is scheduled to meet with his counterpart, S. Jaishankar, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday amid growing tensions between the two countries over trade and tariffs. India imposed tariffs on 28 American products on June 16 in retaliation for the US ending India’s preferential trade status on June 1.
The Trump administration imposed higher duties on products including aluminum and steel. The protesters held banners reading “No war on Iran” and chanted slogans such as “Hands off Iran, hands off!” and “War mongering America, down down.” They urged the Indian government not to cut off imports of oil from Iran, as the US has demanded.
“The relationship that the US wants with countries like India is between a master and a servant,” said Arun Kumar, a protester. “We are opposed to that. We want a relationship between equals.” Some other protesters also called for an end of American actions against the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, terming them “imperialism.” (AP)