After a two-hour clash on a narrow bridge near the border between Congress-ruled Punjab and Haryana, which saw thousands of farmers flung barricades into a river and throw bricks at cops and physically push vehicles, farmers managed to enter Haryana as they continued their ”Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s new farm laws.
Haryana, ruled by the BJP, has been using heavy force to try and block farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala and Punjab making their way from Punjab towards Delhi in tractors and on foot for their two-day “Delhi Chalo” protest march against new farm laws that they fear will reduce their earnings and give more power to large retailers.
While Punjab Congress CM Mr Singh slammed Mr Khattar for stopping farmers from moving towards the national capital, terming it as “totally undemocratic and unconstitutional”,
Haryana BJP CM told the Punjab chief minister to stop “inciting innocent farmers”.
Delhi’s borders at Gurugram and Faridabad have been sealed that resulted in disturbance of metro services
Water cannons started up at full spate at Haryana’s Sonepat around 11 pm amid the cold wave as the police tried to disperse a small group of Punjab farmers who would not be dissuaded from their march to Delhi for an anti-farm law protest.
The group has been talking to the police through the evening from across a trench and a barricade, requesting passage.
Since evening, the group of around 200 men had been standing in the middle of the road shouting slogans.
Behind the barricades a small police team waited, accompanied by water cannons and the necessary arsenal for riot control.
The Congress hit out at the government for using force against farmers, alleging it was suppressing their democratic right to protest by stopping them from entering Delhi to voice their concerns against the new farm laws.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Sharing a video of the incident, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “The country’s farmers are standing resolutely in the face of Modi government’s cruelty against them.”
Attacking the government, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said it has taken away everything from farmers, including the Minimum Support Price (MSP), and is dousing them using water cannons, while it gives loan waiver, banks and airports to corporates.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday asked the Centre to immediately hold talks with farmers protesting against three new agriculture-related laws.
He alleged that due to the “anti-people policies” of the NDA government, many sections of society have come out in protest.
“All the farmers’ organisations in the country are together at this time, therefore, considering the urgency of the situation, the Government of India should start a dialogue with those farmers without any delay,” Mr Gehlot tweeted.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury posted on Twitter photographs of protests from across the country, including that of farmers in Haryana, saying this was the “real India”.
The farmers’ “Delhi Chalo” march became the subject of heated back and forth between the Punjab and Haryana chief ministers on Thursday as police in the latter state used tear gas shells and water cannons in coldwave-like conditions to stop farmers from reaching the national capital.
Some 500 farmers’ organisations from six states – Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala and Punjab – have been planning the November 26-27 march for two months to press the central government to repeal the three recently enacted contentious farm laws.
Punjab farmers had sought permission from the Haryana government to cross the state to reach Delhi, which was denied, but they marched on anyway.
Heavy security was also deployed at Singhu border Delhi-Haryana border) where drones were being used for surveillance.
Gaurav Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer North), Delhi, told ANI that no farmer groups are moving in the direction of Delhi now.
“Our staff is on high alert. We are checking all the vehicles that are coming here to make sure no farmer enters the capital. Senior officials are also patrolling the area. The same information was shared by my counterparts also,” he said.
Delhi-Gurugram (Haryana) border also witnessed traffic congestion due to checking of vehicles.
Ms Badal had resigned from the Union Cabinet in September in protest against three farm sector bills, which later got the President’s assent after being passed by Parliament. She was the Union minister for food processing industries.
The Centre should not adopt a policy of confrontation with farmers. It should instead talk with them and resolve their grievances, Ms Badal said.
The central government is treating farmers as “enemy of the State”, SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal alleged on Thursday, condemning the use of force to stop them from marching towards Delhi in protest against the Centre’s farm laws.
BJP alliance partner Ms Badal had resigned from the Union Cabinet in September in protest against three farm sector bills, which later got the President’s assent after being passed by Parliament. She was the Union minister for food processing industries.
The Centre should not adopt a policy of confrontation with farmers. It should instead talk with them and resolve their grievances, Ms Badal told
“Using force against farmers on Constitution Day has turned the day a ”black day” for ”annadattas” of the country,” the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader said.