Cement barricades, iron nails, heavy police deployment – this is how Haryana authorities are preparing to block farmers who plan to march to Delhi on Tuesday to pressure the Center to accept their various demands. Route diversions and a seven-level security cordon are also part of the elaborate measures.
A video spreading widely on social media shows a man drilling iron nails into the road.
All of Haryana’s borders with Punjab have been sealed with huge cement barricades and barbed wires. Section 144 has been imposed in many districts of Haryana and the CRPF and other security agencies have also been deployed along with the police force.
The arrangements serve as a moment of deja vu: another massive farmers’ march in 2020.
In 2020, a large number of farmers from Punjab and nearby areas of Ambala gathered at the Shambhu border and broke police barriers to march towards Delhi. Farmers staged a year-long protest at Delhi border points against the three now-repealed farm laws.
Earlier in the day, the Haryana-Punjab border at Shambhu was closed for vehicular movement towards Ambala and Delhi. It even caused a huge traffic jam that inconvenienced commuters traveling towards Ambala.
The bed of the Ghaggar river has also been dug up to prevent farmers from reaching the road using tractors, officials said.
The Haryana government also ordered suspension of mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts (Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa) ahead of the farmers’ proposed march.
This occurs even as farmers are preparing their tractors to participate in the march. In Rajpura, farmers took out a tractor march as part of their preparations to head towards Delhi.
More than 200 farmer unions are expected to begin the march on February 13 for various demands, including enactment of a law to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
A team of three Union ministers held a detailed discussion with leaders of farmers’ organizations on Thursday.
The farmer leaders said the central ministers assured them that they would soon hold a second round of the meeting, but they also asserted that their proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march remains. Meanwhile, the ministers have invited the leaders of the farm unions to a meeting a day before the march – on March 12 – in Chandigarh.
The farmers are also demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm workers, waiver of farm debts, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.