Jaipur/Chandigarh, December 13
Farmers protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws blocked the Jaipur-Delhi national highway in Shahjahanpur of Rajasthan’s Alwar district on Sunday as police stopped them along the state’s border with Haryana while they were marching towards Delhi.
Several farmers’ organisations marched through Behror, Shajahapur and Kotputli regions of the state to reach Jaisinghpur-Khera Border.
Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, social activists Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar, and CPI(M) leader Amra Ram also reached Shajahapur along with farmers. However, police did not allow them to proceed forward.
“We are squatting on the highway in support of farmers. We are ready to vacate the road if we are allowed to march towards Delhi,” Yadav told reporters, while apologising to the people for the inconvenience caused to them.
Kisan Panchayat president Rampal Chaudhary is also continuing with his protest along with the farmers on the Haryana-Rajasthan border highway as police did not allow them to move forward.
“Farmers affiliated to different farmer organisations are reaching Shahjahapur border. We want the government to repeal the new farm laws and for this, we want to march towards Delhi,” said Chaudhary.
While CPI(M) leader Amra Ram said the Centre should withdraw the three “anti-farmer” laws.
“We do not have any intention to block the Jaipur-Delhi highway. Police have stopped us from marching towards Delhi, which has led to jam. We want the Centre to withdraw the anti-farmer laws,” Amra Ram said.
Due to blockade, vehicular traffic on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway had to be diverted through Bansur and other routes of Alwar, police said.
One-way traffic from Delhi to Jaipur was later opened for traffic but Jaipur-Delhi highway is blocked due to the agitation, they said.
Police administration is keeping a vigil on the border areas in view of the agitation.
“The police department is all prepared to maintain the law and order and have made all arrangements in view of the farmers’ agitation,” Bhiwadi SP Ram Murti Joshi said.
Earlier, farmers from Rajasthan and some other places gathered in large numbers on the Haryana-Rajasthan border near Rewari for their march towards Delhi and sat in protest on side of the Delhi-Jaipur national highway as the Haryana police put up barricades to stop their onward march.
Rewari’s Superintendent of Police Abhishek Jorwal told reporters at the site that district authorities had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC banning assembly of five or more people.
“We have set up barricades and we will try to stop them here,” he said, adding, besides adequate force of the Haryana police, three companies of paramilitary personnel have been deployed to ensure law and order.
The farmers were sitting in protest at Jaisinghpur Kheda area in Rewari along Rajasthan-Haryana border (NH-48). Gurugram is over 70 km from the site while Delhi is nearly 80 km away.
A farmer from Rajasthan who was among those who wanted to march to Delhi against the Centre’s new farm laws said they will “force the government to rollback the anti-peasant legislations.”
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various border points of Delhi for over a fortnight demanding repeal of the new farm laws.
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. PTI