Farmers Stand Ground at Punjab-Haryana Borders, Refusing to Retreat to Delhi

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 14-02-2024 13:57 IST | Created: 14-02-2024 13:56 IST
Farmers Stand Ground at Punjab-Haryana Borders, Refusing to Retreat to Delhi
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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Scores of farmers from Punjab continued to stay put at the two borders of the state and Haryana on Wednesday while security personnel fired some tear gas shells on the protesters at the Shambhu border near Ambala.

As the peasants gather there to resume their 'Delhi Chalo' protest, farmer leaders will first hold a meeting before moving ahead with their plan to break multi-layered barricades at the Shambhu border in an attempt to march towards Delhi.

With the farmers from several places in Punjab continuing to pour in to participate in the 'Delhi Chalo' march, a large number of tractor-trolleys could be seen parked along the national highway on the Punjab side.

The protesting farmers from Punjab plan to make a fresh attempt to break past the multiple layers of barricades at the border with Haryana.

The Haryana security personnel lobbed a few tear gas shells on Wednesday morning after some farmers gathered near the barricades at the Shambhu border, the protesters claimed.

While the protesting farmers said they were determined to march towards the national capital, many young farmers have made their tractors ready for removing the multi-layered cemented blocks at the Shambhu border.

They have also made arrangements of water tankers in order to minimise the impact of any tear gas shell lobbed by the Haryana security personnel.

The farmers were also carrying water bottles and wet clothes to limit the impact of tear gas shells.

One of the protesters was seen wearing body protective gears along with eye protective safety goggles at the Shambhu border.

Many farmers said they sustained injuries and faced difficulties in breathing and irritation in eyes because of the tear gas shells lobbed by the Haryana security personnel on Tuesday.

A protesting farmer at the Shambhu border slammed the BJP-led Centre for writing off huge corporate debts but not giving what the farmers wanted.

The farmers just wanted the government to give a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP), he said.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher criticised the Centre for its police action against the protesting farmers, saying many cultivators were injured.

''We urge the government to stop all this and ensure a positive atmosphere. We were ready for talks yesterday and we are ready for it even today,'' said Pandher.

The farmers appeal to the prime minister to give a law to guarantee MSP as he has a big heart, he said.

Pandher said neither the government was accepting their demands nor was it letting them head towards Delhi to put-forth their issues.

Asked whether the farmers have received any invitation for holding talks, Pandher said it was being said the Centre was inviting them for a dialogue.

''We will consider that invitation,'' said Pandher while speaking to reporters at the Shambhu border.

He said the objective of their agitation was that their demands are accepted. ''We have not come for any confrontation with the government,'' he asserted.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has inquired about the health of a farmer who sustained injuries during a police action at the Shambhu border.

During his visit to Rajpura hospital, Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring arranged a conversation between Gandhi and the farmers over a mobile phone.

The Punjab authorities have raised an objection with the Haryana authorities for the use of a drone for dropping tear gas shells inside the Punjab territory, said a senior official on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the farmers had clashed with Haryana Police personnel at two border points between the states, facing tear gas shells and water cannons as they tried to break the barricades blocking their protest march to the national capital.

After a face-off with the police that lasted several hours on Tuesday, farmer leaders called off the protest for the day. They said they would resume the march from Shambhu on Wednesday.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation to put pressure on the Centre for their demands, including a law on MSP for crops and loan waivers.

During their protest on February 13 at the Shambhu border, the farmers, with the help of tractors, managed to remove some of the cemented barricades and iron nails which were part of the elaborate arrangements made by the Haryana authorities to prevent protesters from heading to Delhi.

Twenty-four police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, were injured as protesters hurled stones at them, officials said.

The police used tear gas shells and water cannons against the protesters at the border in the state's Jind district as well. According to the police, nine of their men suffered injuries in this clash at Data Singhwala-Khanauri border.

The Haryana government on Tuesday had extended the suspension of mobile internet services, bulk SMS and dongle services in seven districts - Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa till February 15.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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