Haryana steps up vigil on borders with Punjab as farmers assemble for march to Delhi
Haryana put up road barricades at its border with Punjab as farmers in the adjoining state massed with their tractor-trailers ahead of a planned "Delhi Chalo" march Thursday to protest against the Centre’s new farm laws.PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 26-11-2020 10:51 IST | Created: 25-11-2020 22:16 IST
Haryana put up road barricades at its border with Punjab as farmers in the adjoining state massed with their tractor-trailers ahead of a planned "Delhi Chalo" march Thursday to protest against the Centre's new farm laws. The BJP government in Haryana has said it will seal its borders with Congress-run Punjab for the next two days, stopping farmers on their march to Delhi. In Haryana, police used water cannons at least twice Wednesday to disperse protesting farmers and stop them from going to Delhi.
The Haryana authorities also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in several parts of the state to prevent assembly of protesters. Haryana also suspended its bus service to Punjab for November 26 and 27, state Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma told PTI.
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) too suspended its bus services to Haryana for the next two days. It said in a release that the CTU operations in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh may also get affected.
Meanwhile, braving the cold and rainy conditions, thousands of farmers assembled with their tractor-trailers near the Haryana borders in Punjab. Farmer bodies said they will hold a dharna wherever stopped from moving towards the national capital.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugarhan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan on Wednesday said around 25,000 women will participate in the protest march and over 4,000 tractor-trailers have been arranged it. The BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) has claimed that over two lakh farmers associated with it will enter Haryana through Khanauri and Dabwali.
Farmers have brought ration, vegetables, wood and other essentials for their march. In view of cold weather conditions, they have stocked quilts, blankets and covered their trolleys with tarpaulin. "We are ready for the battle, which may last long," said Kokrikalan.
Farmers having association with 30 organisations from Moga, Fazilka, Bathinda and other areas are reaching Mehlan Chowk in Sangrur. "Even if it takes a month or so, we are not worried. We will not return till these laws are scrapped," a farmer said at Khanauri village in Sangrur.
Meanwhile, a large group of farmers near Mohra village in Ambala jumped over barricades following which the police resorted to the use of a water cannon against them. Despite this, a splinter group managed to proceed to Tiyora-Tiyori village on the Ambala-Kurukshetra border, where police again used a water cannon against them to stop their march to Delhi.
Vehicular traffic too was severely disrupted at several places for several hours. A few Army vehicles also remained stranded in Kurukshetra district for some time due to the agitation, officials said.
Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh told reporters, "Even if police use lathis and force, nothing can stop farmers. We will continue our march towards Delhi. We will force the Centre to roll back these black anti-farmer laws". Farmers were seen carrying food and clothes and had stocked other essentials in their tractor-trailers and planned to spend the night either in their vehicles or temporary shelters they had set up along the national highway to Delhi.
Police are keeping vigil over farmers with drones. A Punjab Police official on duty at Sangrur's Khanauri told reporters that the Haryana Police used cranes to put boulders on roads and the movement of traffic to the other side has been stopped.
"We are diverting traffic to alternate routes now. We are also ensuring that the movement of essential goods is not affected," he said. Earlier on Tuesday, a detailed advisory was issued by the Haryana Police, urging commuters to modify their travel plans.
Asserting that farmers from Punjab will not be allowed to enter the state, police said they have deployed water cannons and riot vehicles at the state borders. Meanwhile, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja on Wednesday said the Congress stands shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers.
She claimed the BJP-led government was trying to muzzle farmers' voice and prevent them from registering their protest against the "anti-farmer" central laws. Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address concerns of farmers.
In a tweet, he said the government's confrontation with farmers is pushing Punjab and the country towards "chaos". Badal urged the prime minister to redress their grievances and not throw Punjab "into jaws of crises".
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)