Farmers Protest: Farmers Face Tear Gas Barrage as They Try to Enter Delhi, Details

Farmers Protest

Farmers Protest: Following the failure of discussions with the Centre over minimum support price (MSP) guarantees, security forces at the Punjab-Haryana border fired tear gas shells intermittently on Wednesday morning as farmers prepared to restart their ‘Delhi Chalo‘ protest march.

Confiscation of Protest Equipment

The police in Haryana have instructed their Punjabi colleagues to confiscate protestor-brought equipment in order to demolish police roadblocks. Along the border, some 14,000 farmers have congregated accompanied by 1,200 tractor trolleys, 300 automobiles, and 10 minibuses.

As farmers who have been halted at the interstate boundary since February 13 prepare to go forward towards the nation’s capital, Delhi Police are on high alert and practicing security drills at entry points.

Peaceful Protest Assurance

Leader of the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, Sarwan Singh Pandher, declared in advance of the start of the demonstration that the farmers would demonstrate peacefully and urged the government to take down barriers so they could travel to Delhi without hindrance.

“We tried our best from our side. We attended the meetings, every point was discussed, and now the decision has to be taken by the central government. We will remain peaceful… We should be allowed to remove these barriers and march towards Delhi,” Pandher said.

Ministry’s Concern Over Law and Order

The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to the Punjab government expressing concern about the state’s declining law and order situation and blaming miscreants acting as farmers for it. It said that these “miscreants” had taken heavy equipment, like as bulldozers and earthmovers, to the Shambhu border with Haryana and had participated in stone-pelting.

Traffic Warnings and Border Closures

Authorities warned that road closures around Delhi’s three border crossings could cause traffic jams on Wednesday. Two locations on the Delhi-Haryana border, Tikri and Singhu, are heavily guarded by police, with many levels of concrete blocks and iron nails in place. According to an official, the border in Ghazipur may also close on Wednesday if necessary.

Leader of the farmers, Sarwan Singh Pandher, stated that the Centre ought to call a full day of Parliament to draft legislation on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops on the eve of the protest’s restart. “We demand that a law to guarantee the MSP be brought. If the prime minister has the willpower, a day-long session of Parliament can be convened. No opposition party will oppose it.”

Paramilitary Presence in Haryana

Pandher went on to say that in an effort to stop their march, paramilitary forces had been stationed in Haryanan villages. “The country will not forgive such a government…There are paramilitary forces deployed in the villages of Haryana…What crime have we committed?…We have made you the Prime Minister. We never thought that the forces would oppress us this way…Please protect the Constitution and let us peacefully head towards Delhi. This is our right,” he said.

Farmers’ Rejection and Resumption of March

The Punjab government was requested by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to prevent farmers from congregating in big groups. The farmers can travel to Delhi by bus or other public transportation, the court noted, noting that tractor-trolleys are prohibited from operating on highways by the Motor Vehicles Act.

Farmers rejected the Center’s proposal to have government agencies buy cotton, maize, and pulses at MSP for five years, and as a result, the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march is about to resume. They said they were going to march on the nation’s capital today because they believed it to be against the interests of farmers.

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