Thousands of farmers headed to the national capital on Friday with their echoes for a rollback of three farm laws passed by the Parliament in September growing stronger. Thursday witnessed high-voltage face-offs between police personnel and the protesting farmers, who forced their way and entered Delhi’s adjoining areas like Panipat, Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Fatehabad, and Jind.
The farmers, hailing from Punjab and Haryana, in their “Delhi Chalo” march are demanding the ruling dispensation agrees to hear their objections on the clearance of farm laws which, collectively, have paved way for agribusinesses to freely trade farm produce without restrictions, permit private traders to stockpile large quantities of essential commodities for future sales and lay down new rules for contract farming.
In the last 12-15 hours, farmers have moved closer to Delhi, prompting Delhi Police to scale up deployment of security personnel, stationed sand-laden trucks and water cannons and using barbed wire for fencing at the Singhu Border to prevent the protesters from entering the city.
According to police farmers would not be allowed to protest against the Centre’s new farm laws to enter Delhi if they reach the borders of the national capital.
Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava, who visited the bordering areas, said “Due to Covid-19 guidelines have been issued in which political gathering is not permitted here and for this, their (the farmers’) request was rejected. If they still make an attempt, we have deployed personnel at the borders to not let them enter the national capital. We are also in contact with Punjab and Haryana Police,” reported Hindustan Times.
– Traffic movement is likely to be disrupted in the border areas. The traffic was also closed from Bahadurgarh towards Delhi on Thursday evening, officials said.
Five sand-laden trucks and three water cannons have also been stationed at the Singhu Border to stop tractors being driven by the protesters, the report stated. Officials have stated that drones have been deployed to keep a tight vigil to maintain law and order.
Areas affected by the police deployment include – NH-24, DND, Chilla Border, Tigri border, Bahadurgarh border, Faridabad border, Kalindi Kunj border and Singhu border.
Prohibitory orders have been imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by the Haryana authorities in several parts of the state to prevent the assembly of the protesters.