Farmers’ Protest Latest Updates: As Thousands of protesting farmers moved closer to the national capital, the Delhi Police on Thursday night enhanced security and stationed sand-laden trucks and water cannons at the Singhu Border to prevent the protesters from entering the city. Also, drones have been deployed to keep a tight vigil to maintain law and order. Also Read - Public, Private Universities in Punjab to Reopen From Jan 21, Govt Issues SOPs | Details Here
Making all efforts, police said they will not allow the farmers protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws to enter Delhi if they reach the borders of the national capital. Also Read - Delhi Police Has Full Authority to Decide on Farmers Entering Capital: Supreme Court on R-Day Tractor Rally
As per latest reports, these protesting farmers have been stopped at Panipat, Sonipat and Haldwana. However, the farmers say that they are determined to reach Delhi by Thursday night. Also Read - Two Sisters Compose Song on Farmers Protesting Against Farm Laws, Video Goes Viral | Watch
Heavy traffic jam at Delhi-Haryana border
Because of the incident, the traffic movement was also closed from Bahadurgarh towards Delhi on Thursday evening. People coming to the national capital from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh faced traffic snarls at several border crossings as police personnel intensified vehicle checking.
‘Acted with great restraint’
Haryana Police chief Manoj Yadava said his force acted with great restraint. Protesters hurled stones at many places. In this entire episode, not only a number of police personnel were injured, but police and private vehicles were also damaged.
In Karnal, a farmer was injured when a teargas shell hit him. No arrests were reported. At the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, police and Punjab farmers in their tractor-trolleys were locked in a confrontation for a couple of hours in the morning.
Meanwhile, the Haryana Police have appealed to the citizens to avoid travelling on National Highway 10 (Hisar-Rohtak-Delhi) and National Highway 44 (Ambala-Panipat-Delhi), in view of ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march by the farmers.
War of words on Twitter
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar exchanged words over Twitter.
The Congress veteran asked Khattar why his government was stopping farmers, and the BJP leader told him to stop inciting them.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal too criticised attempts to thwart the protest. “Today is Punjab’s 26/11. We are witnessing the end of the right to democratic protest,” he tweeted.
In order to prevent farmers from entering Delhi, police deployment was made at NH-24, DND, Chilla Border, Tigri border, Bahadurgarh border, Fridabad border, Kalindi Kunj border and Singhu border.
To take stock of the situation, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava visited the bordering areas and said protesting farmers will not be allowed to enter the national capital.
No Metro Services on Friday
On the other hand, Delhi Metro services from neighbouring cities to the national capital will remain suspended on Friday in view of the ”Delhi chalo” protest march. However, metro services will be available from Delhi towards the NCR sections, they said.
Taking to twitter, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Thursday said, “Update for tomorrow (Friday). As advised by Delhi Police, Metro services will be available only from Delhi towards the NCR sections. However, services from the NCR stations towards Delhi will not be available due to security reasons till further notice.”
Determined to reach Delhi
Unaffected by all this, the determined Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, have announced they will go to Delhi through several routes — Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa. However, tension was escalating at all the border points.
They assembled near the borders in tractor-trolleys laden with rations and essentials for their proposed Delhi march. Authorities in Haryana have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in several parts of the state to prevent assembly of the protesters.
What are their demands?
Punjab farmers are demanding the repeal of the new farm laws, which, they said, should be replaced with another set of legislations framed after wider consultation with the stakeholders. They also want a guarantee on the minimum support prices.
(With inputs from agencies)