DELHI: Farmers Protest March Towards Delhi, Borders Sealed

Police have set up strong barricades, fencing at multiple locations, even tested on tear-gas shells to remain prepared
Farmers protest
Farmers protestX image

NEW DELHI: After meeting two Union ministers regarding their demands, the protesting farmers commenced their march towards Delhi on Tuesday.

The farmer leaders said that their meeting with the Union ministers on Monday ended without a clear resolution. They stated that the government was only providing verbal assurance concerning their demand for Minimum Support Price (MSP) on all crops.

Farmers with 2,500 tractor trolleys began their match around 10 am from Fatehgarh Sahib and are moving towards Delhi via Shambhu border. Another group is advancing towards the national capital from Mehal Kalan in Sangrur, crossing through Khanauri border.

Extensive security arrangements have been put in many places in Ambala, Jind, Fatehbad, Kurukshetra and Sisra using concrete blocks, iron nails and barbed wire. To maintain law and order, the Delhi police have enforced section 144, which prohibits the entry of tractor-trolleys and large gatherings.

At various points along the borders of Punjab and Haryana, riot control vehicles, including water cannons, have also been deployed.

Amid thorough police preparations in Haryana and Delhi, thousands of farmers from various parts of India began their ‘Delhi chalo’ protest on Tuesday. Meanwhile, authorities have been instructed to prevent their entry into Delhi.

The leaders have claimed that farmers from over 200 organisations will participate in the Delhi chalo march and gather in the national capital. They also said that the farmers come from all parts of India but reports suggest that over 90% of them are anticipated to be from Haryana and Delhi.

Police have set up strong barricades and fencing at multiple locations, even conduction test on their tear-gas shells to remain prepared for any unforeseen incidents.

On Tuesday, farmer leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher criticized the extensive barricading along the borders of Punjab and Haryana ahead of their march towards Delhi, likening the state borders to ‘international borders’. He remarked that concrete walls have been built at both the borders.

Meanwhile, Delhi government has rejected the central government’s proposal to convert Batwana Stadium into a jail in view of farmers’ march.

On the Centre’s proposal, Delhi government Home Minister Kailash Gehlot said, “The demands of the farmers are genuine. It is the constitutional right of every citizen to make a peaceful protest. It is therefore incorrect to arrest the farmers...”

In addition to a legal assurance for Minimum Support Price (MSP), the farmers are demanding for the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pensions for both farmers and farm laborers, farm debt forgiveness, the dismissal of police cases, seeking "justice" for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, restoration of the Land Acquisition Act - 2013, withdrawal from the World Trade Organization, and compensation for the families of farmers who lost their lives during the previous agitation, among other demands.


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