Tens of thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana heading to Delhi in protest of the Union government’s farm laws have been faced with tear gas, water cannons and barricades to stop them at different state border points. The massive farmers' protest march has kept the Haryana and Delhi police forces on their toes since Thursday. Farmers groups from several states, including Karnataka, are travelling for the two-day protest that began on Thursday, against the three farm laws passed by the Union government.
Farmers are demanding that the Union government reconsider the legislation, expressing apprehension that the laws could pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.
As Delhi Police at the Haryana border geared up to restrict the possible entry of farmers into the capital, Haryana police have also tried to stop thousands of farmers on their way to protest in Delhi.
At the Singhu border between Haryana and Delhi, the Delhi Police were seen putting barbed wires and boulder barricades to stop farmers heading towards the national capital.
The city police force has used tactics like putting up trolleys filled with mud and piles of boulders, in order to put a break to farmers' efforts.
According to reports, even BSF (Border Security Force) personnel were deployed in Delhi to prevent the protesting farmers from entering the capital.
On Friday, as the farmer groups attempted to march on from Haryana to Delhi, they were again stopped at various border points, with tear gas and water cannons.
Drones were also deployed to check the farmers' march from a distance as senior police officers themselves kept vigil at the border areas.
"We are in constant touch with Haryana Police and every development is communicated to stop the march of farmers towards Delhi. We will take legal action if the farmers try to enter the capital," said Ingit Pratap Singh, DCP, South West Delhi.
Tight vigil was seen at Singhu border, Faridabad border, Gurugram and also borders adjoining western Uttar Pradesh at Chilla border, DND and Ghazipur.
#WATCH Delhi: Police use water cannon & tear gas shells to disperse protesting farmers at Tikri border near Delhi-Bahadurgarh highway.— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2020
Farmers are seen clashing with security forces, as they tried to head towards Delhi as part of their protest march against Centre's Farm laws. pic.twitter.com/L67PN4xYKy
Not just highways, small lanes and roads were also blocked by Delhi Police to rule out the possibility of the farmers entering the capital.
However, farmers have braved on in huge numbers, overcoming the barriers and tactics deployed by the police.
Remarkable images, but govt's extreme response is turning a #FarmersProtest into a war. Haryana, UP govts dug the national highway, used cement barricades, water canons, TEAR GAS to block Punjab farmers against new farm laws. Delhi police wants to use 9 stadiums as temp prisons! https://t.co/FXTR0fjmds— Rohini Mohan (@rohini_mohan) November 27, 2020
Delhi Metro services from NCR stations towards Delhi will remain suspended on Friday as well.
The situation was tense in many parts of Haryana on Thursday too, with police using tear gas and water cannons on farmers, who reportedly retaliated in a few places by pelting stones.
Tension prevailed at the Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana.
A group of student activists from JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University), DU (Delhi University) and AISA (All India Students Association) who went to join the farmers' protest at Jantar Mantar were also detained by the police on Thursday, apart from a few farmers who had reached the capital.
Around 500 farmers' organisations have been planning the November 26-27 march for two months to press the Union government to repeal the recently enacted farm laws.
With IANS inputs