Farmers forge ahead with ‘Delhi Chalo’ march amid heavy security hurdle

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Delhi Chalo
File photo of farmers during the protests at Delhi border in 2020. (Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash)

New Delhi: In a resolute demonstration of their demands, farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh embarked on the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on Tuesday morning. The march, triggered by an unfruitful meeting with two union ministers on Monday regarding their demands, notably the legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, has stirred echoes reminiscent of the 2020 protests.

The farmers, organised under the banner of various unions, have planned their journey from Ambala-Shambhu, Khanauri-Jind, and Dabwali borders towards the national capital, reported PTI.

Also read: Farmers’ protest in Delhi: All you need to know

According to media reports, a group of farmers from Fatehgarh Sahib, mounted on their tractor trolleys, initiated the march around 10 am, directing their course towards Delhi via the Shambhu border. Simultaneously, another group from Mehal Kalan in Sangrur set out for the national capital through the Khanauri border, adding a multi-faceted dimension to their protest strategy.

However, the farmers faced immediate obstacles as authorities in Haryana took preemptive measures to curtail the proposed march. Concrete blocks, iron nails, and barbed wire were strategically placed along the borders in Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, and Sirsa, creating physical impediments for the protesters.

To deter any potential unrest, riot control vehicles, including water cannons, were deployed at key points along the Punjab and Haryana borders. The Haryana government, not taking any chances, invoked Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) across 15 districts, prohibiting the assembly of five or more people and banning any demonstrations or marches involving tractor trolleys.

As the farmers persisted in their march towards Delhi, the security apparatus in the national capital intensified. Multi-layered barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails, and container walls were erected at strategic border points. Reports from the Times of India on Tuesday highlighted the deployment of police personnel and barricades at the ITO junction, with Section 144 of the CrPC imposed.

Security personnel numbering around 15 companies were stationed at the Tikri border, while 500 police personnel fortified the Chilla border on the Noida-Delhi link near Ashok Nagar. Stringent measures were implemented to thwart any attempts by the farmers to enter Delhi through this route.

At the Singhu border, a substantial deployment of 20 Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies, complemented by over 600 Delhi Police personnel, aimed to secure the area. Additionally, 12 companies of security forces were positioned at the Ghazipur border, contributing to a robust defense mechanism against any potential escalation.

The Delhi Police has also incorporated drone surveillance across multiple border points, ensuring comprehensive monitoring of the ongoing situation.

To streamline traffic amidst the heightened security and potential disruptions, a traffic advisory was issued by the police on X. Commuters travelling from Chandigarh to Delhi were urged to consider alternative routes, including Panchkula-Barwala-Saha-Barara-Babain-Ladwa-Pipli-Kurukshetra or Panchkula-Barwala-Yamunanagar-Ladwa-Indri-Karnal.

(with PTI inputs)

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