Tribune News Service
Sangrur/Chandigarh, November 26
Headed to the national capital as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest, Punjab farmers broke police barricades at the Haryana-Punjab border in Shambhu and moved ahead as the police used water cannons and tear gas shells to stop them.
किसानों से समर्थन मूल्य छीनने वाले कानून के विरोध में किसान की आवाज सुनने की बजाय भाजपा सरकार उन पर भारी ठंड में पानी की बौछार मारती है।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) November 26, 2020
A few protesters and cops were injured in the scuffle as thousands of peasants removed police barricades and heavy concrete boulders blocking their way to Delhi.
The injured were being shifted to hospital in an ambulance. The police have parked trucks in the middle of the highway in another bid to stop farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
At some places, farmers broke barricades at Shambhu border and threw them down the bridge.
Leaders of All India Kisan Sabha, who have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth movement of farmers from the border, say that there are almost 50,000 farmers at the spot.
Bracing overnight rains and chilly winds, thousands of protesting farmers on Thursday assembled at various places along the Haryana borders in Punjab amid mounting tension.
Haryana had completely sealed its borders with Punjab. There was heavy deployment of Haryana police on the borders with Punjab, officials said.
हुकूमत से जीतने की जद्दोजहद तभी करता है कोई किसान,
जब उसने अपनी जिंदगी दांव पर लगा रखी हो|
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) November 26, 2020
केंद्र सरकार के तीनों खेती बिल किसान विरोधी हैं। ये बिल वापिस लेने की बजाय किसानों को शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन करने से रोका जा रहा है, उन पर वॉटर कैनन चलाई जा रही हैं। किसानों पर ये जुर्म बिलकुल ग़लत है। शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन उनका संवैधानिक अधिकार है।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 26, 2020
The Haryana Police in adequate strength has also been deployed along the state’s borders with Delhi, they said.
The BJP government in Haryana had said that it would seal its borders with Punjab on November 26-27 in view of the farmers’ march to Delhi.
The Delhi Police had on Wednesday asserted that it had rejected requests received from various farmer organisations to protest in the national capital against the Centre’s new farm laws on November 26 and 27. A day earlier, it had said that legal action would be taken against the protesting farmers if they come to the city for any gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) president Buta Singh Burjgill on Thursday said farmers are ready for their Delhi Chalo protest.
Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, have announced to go towards the national capital through many routes, including Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa.
The farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws are assembling near Haryana borders with tractor-trolleys carrying ration and essentials for their proposed Delhi march.
They have also condemned the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana for sealing the state borders.
In Haryana, police had used water cannons twice in Ambala and Kurukshetra districts on Wednesday to disperse a group of protesting farmers and stop them from going to Delhi.
The Haryana authorities have also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in several parts of the state to prevent assembly of protesters.
Meanwhile, braving the cold and rainy conditions, thousands of farmers spend the night in temporary shelters and inside their tractor trollies.
Farmer bodies said they will hold a dharna wherever stopped from moving towards the national capital.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugarhan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan has said around 25,000 women will participate in the protest march and over 4,000 tractor-trailers have been arranged for it.
The BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) has claimed that over two lakh farmers associated with it will enter Haryana through Khanauri and Dabwali.
Farmers have brought ration, vegetables, wood and other essentials for their march. In view of cold weather conditions, they have stocked quilts, blankets and covered their trolleys with tarpaulin. Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni had said on Wednesday that “even if police use lathis and force, nothing can stop farmers”.
“We will continue our march towards Delhi. We will force the Centre to roll back these black anti-farmer laws,” he said.
Videography, including using drone cameras, is being done at the state borders with Punjab and other sensitive points.
The Haryana Police too have issued a travel advisory, asking commuters to avoid certain national highways along the state borders with Punjab and Delhi in the wake of the protests.
The Haryana Police has also put up multi-layered barricades and boulders on the roads from Punjab, officials said.