Agriculture laws | Farmers break barriers to enter Delhi

Farmers begin their march towards Delhi from Haryana's Ambala in response to the call for "Dilli Chalo" on November 25, 2020. Photo: Special arrangement  

Hundreds of farmers led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) leaders set out for Delhi from Ambala with tractors and trolleys breaking through two barriers on National Highway 44 on Wednesday, in response to a call for “Dilli Chalo” from several farmers’ groups for November 26 and 27 in protest against the three controversial farm laws.


The Haryana police placed boulders and barricades on all roads across the State and sealed its border with Punjab to prevent the farmers from marching towards Delhi.


The Delhi police too deployed three companies of paramilitary forces at the border with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.


However, the farmers’ response from the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh remained lukewarm with the Bharatiya Kisan Union, leading the protests in west U.P., distancing itself from the march call. Dharmendra Malik, State spokesperson of the BKU, said though there is anguish among the farmers, there is no call from their organisation to move towards Delhi. Tejinder Singh Virk, president of the Terai Kisan Sangathan, said they would join the protest with at least 2,000 farmers from Uttarakhand.


BKU (Charuni) spokesperson Rakesh Bains said the police used water cannons to stop them, but they broke through the barriers to reach Pipli in Kurukshetra late in the evening.


Haryana DGP Manoj Yadava told The Hindu that the police tried to physically prevent the farmers from marching ahead, but they broke through barriers defying the police advice. “We don’t want to get into scuffle with them because the use of force will become inevitable,” said Mr. Yadava. He said barriers were put across the State but no fresh arrests were made on Wednesday. “The entire State is affected,” he said.


As lakhs of farmers head towards Delhi, leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, alliance of farmers groups leading the protest, insist that their demand is repeal of the three farm laws and the dropping of the Electricity Bill, 2020. “We want these Bills to be repealed in toto, we will not accept any minor tweaking. The farmers are coming prepared to stay regardless of any resistance,” said Swaraj India national president Yogendra Yadav, during an online press conference.


A protest rally has been planned at 11 a.m. at the Jantar Mantar whether or not farmers from other States are allowed to enter, said All-India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah. Rallies are also being planned at five points on the Delhi border.


The Morcha accused the BJP of using State governments to crush the movement. Apart from the barriers at the border, hundreds of farmer leaders have been detained or placed under house arrest in Haryana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, according to Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh leader Ashutosh Kohar. Despite the leaders’ insistence that this is an all-India movement, with local agitations expected in at least 15 States, the vast bulk of farmers heading to Delhi hail from Punjab. Over 1.5 lakh farmers have been mobilised from the State.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 4:21:25 AM |

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