Lakhs of farmers marching since early this week finally reach Delhi, undeterred by the freezing temperature of water cannon and blockades.
“Delhi Chalo”- a Call by Farmer Unions Against the Farm Laws
Thousands of farmers from Haryana and Punjab will reach Delhi today through five highways connecting the city. Several farmer unions, including All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) and Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, made a nationwide call to protest against the farm laws. Haryana government employees have too called a strike today. Despite tear gas, road barricades, and road diversions, farmers continued to proceed towards Delhi. They threatened to block all roads to the National Capital if they are prevented from entering the region.
Tear Gas and Water Cannons used by Police at Haryana Border
Around 1 pm on 26th November, tractors, trolleys, and other vehicles were seen lined up at the Shambhu interstate border near Ambala. In a face-off between police and farmers, farmers threw barricades down the nearby Ghaggar river. Haryana government sealed all its borders with the Punjab government citing the situation. Meanwhile, Commuters, agitated by the roadblocks and traffic accused the authorities of not diverting them in advance.
Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) has also suspended bus operations in and out of Haryana on 25th November. Also, it has requested the commuters to enquire before planning their journey on CTU buses. Similarly, the Haryana government has suspended transport services to Punjab.
Massive Security Arrangements
Denying requests from farmers of all six states, Delhi police have too deployed its cops on borders to prevent the crowd from proceeding further. Also, citing the pandemic outbreak, it has announced to take legal actions against the violators. Besides, the Delhi Metro announced that no train would cross borders to enter Noida, Gurgaon, or other NCR towns till 2 pm on the 26th. Apart from this, Delhi police have arrested six protestors taking shelter in Delhi Gurudwaras.
Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted that the government is repeating the history of 1980. Then they stopped Akalis from entering Delhi to protest; now they are barricading farmers from carrying out a peaceful protest. Also, Arvind Kejriwal registered his support by tweeting that it is wrong to prevent farmers from holding peaceful demonstrations. Instead of withdrawing three anti-farmer bills, they are using water cannons and tear gas, which is incorrect.
That apart, Captain Amarinder Singh slammed the Khattar government for stopping farmers. He claimed that the use of “brute force” against protestors is entirely undemocratic and unconstitutional. They are provoking them by resorting to force. Replying to this, CM Khattar tweeted that he has been trying to reach Punjab CM for three days, but he was unreachable. Further, he requested farmers not to agitate as MSP will stay.
Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of Farmer body Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) questioned CM Khattar on his action of sealing borders with the state. Further, he tweeted that unions will block routes to Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir and carry out dharnas peacefully. Also, Inderjit Singh, a senior leader of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), condemned the government’s action of sealing the border. Further, he questioned claims of Dushyant Chautala of supporting farmers and his silence on suppressing farmers in the state.
Protests in Other States
Meanwhile, Congress members are protesting in Kolkata in support of all India general strike. They blocked the road at the Barasat Champadali intersection in Barasat. Also, 12 trade unions held a demonstration in Thiruvananthapuram today against the Centre’s new labour and farm laws.
BKU Bathinda unit chief asserted that they had stocked dry ration for three to four months including onions, potatoes, spices, vegetables, pulses. Also, they have large utensils and LPG cylinders too to avoid any inconvenience.
In all, farmers will continue to protest against the anti- farm laws which the Centre claims to benefit farmers.