Corruption Scandals Spark New Clashes in India

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 6:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Police in India's capital blasted protesters with water cannons and beat them back with batons outside parliament Tuesday as they tried to contain rising outrage over a series of corruption scandals.

Thousands of opposition supporters took the streets in New Delhi, while inside the parliament building, opposition lawmakers staged a protest of their own.

India's ruling Congress Party has come under increased scrutiny following a series of scandals, the most notable of them involving planning for last year's Commonwealth Games.

A survey published Tuesday by The Hindu found nearly two-thirds of Indians view the government as very or somewhat corrupt. It also found Indians view government employees and elected officials as the most corrupt.

In the country's west, at least three Indian farmers were killed Tuesday when police in Maharashtra state opened fire at a crowd protesting the proposed construction of a water pipeline.

Police in Pune, southeast of the state capital, Mumbai, said demonstrators brought traffic on the main Mumbai-Pune highway to a standstill, stranding hundreds of vehicles. They said police shot at the crowd after the protesters attacked them and set fire to a police vehicle.