High drama in Delhi as farmers allowed to protest peacefully
High drama in Delhi: Delhi Police has allowed agitating farmers to enter the national capital for peaceful protests
Thousands of agitating farmers from parts of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan have been marching toward Delhi and its nearing borders in recent days as part of their “Delhi Chalo” protest in a bid to raise their disappointment against the three central farm laws passed by the Parliament in September.
Delhi Police also scaled up the deployment of security personnel at the Singhu border in a bid to prevent the farmers from entering the city. As these protesting farmers were marching towards the national capital, police fired several rounds of tear gas and water cannons at them at the Haryana-Delhi border.
Reportedly, farmers and police engaged in high-voltage clashes at several areas adjoining the national capital including Sirsa, Panipat, Kurukshetra and Fatehabad. Amid these clashes, flocks of protesting farmers reportedly pelted stones, broke barricades and tried to enter Delhi at the Singhu border as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas shells. As per reports, some farmers also suffered injuries in the unprecedented action.
After hours of clashes on Friday morning, the farmers were allowed to enter the national capital by Delhi police for a planned protest. Farmers’ organisations also confirmed that they were given a safe passage by the Delhi police to protest peacefully at Nirankari Ground in Burari.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital rejected the Delhi Police’s request to turn nine stadiums into makeshift jails to detain the thousands of farmers protesting at the borders.
Hundreds of farmers’ organisations from six states are participating in the protests organised after months of planning. Farmers have alleged that these laws will deprive them of a guaranteed minimum support price for their produce and they will face exploitation at the hands of corporates and private firms. Through these protests, farmers are seeking the Union government to either guarantee them a minimum support price (MSP) for their produce through a new law or withdraw the three legislations.
Bhartiya Kisan Union chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni is leading the agitating farmers from Haryana along with several other regional and national farm unions under the umbrella banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
While Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held talks with a number of farmer unions earlier, he failed to convince them about the benefits of the new laws. Realising that the government would not help them in the issue, farmers decided to march to Delhi in a bid to mount pressure on the Union government led by PM Modi.
In October, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha unanimously rejected the three laws and three farm amendment bill to remove Punjab from the ambit of central laws.
The three farm bills are – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation); Farmer (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services; Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.