Farmers Protest: Braving tear gas, blockades, state obstructions, farmers journey towards Delhi to demand law on MSP

Solidarity for the protesting farers facing unjustified and unproportional state action pours in from Tamil Nadu, farm leaders stand firm by the protest being a protest by all farmers

On the morning of February 13, the farmers began with their march towards the national capital to participate in the Farmers’ march to demand for a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for their produce along with six other demands, which include implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations that provide for safeguarding the interest of small farmers and addressing the issue of increasing risk overtaking agriculture as a profession, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence also form a part of the demands made. A demand for 200 days’ daily wage and Rs 700 per daily wage for MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) workers also form a part of their demands. 

But, for those who began their march in northern Haryana and Punjab states, the journey to reach Delhi will be not easy as extensive attempts to stop the farmers are being made by the state and union governments. Visuals from the Haryana border have been surfacing since the morning, showcasing the repressive tactics being used by the Haryana government, including tear gas, water cannons and even rubber pellets, while stopping the farmers from joining their peaceful march and exercise their right to protest. As was reported yesterday, Haryana police had sealed multiple entry points into the capital with barriers of giant metal containers, barbed wire, spikes and cement blocks and had even suspended internet service and bulk SMS services in some districts of Haryana state. 

Today, the Haryana police indulged in dropping tear gas canisters on the protesting farmers from a drone at one of the border points in northern Haryana state that leads to New Delhi. Pictures emerged on social media that showed thick clouds of tear gas being used to disperse the farmers near the city of Ambala.

Here are some visual from the ground. These visuals show protestors being detained by the police. 

The farmers could be seen braving through these state tactics of suppression.

The unjustified usage of such state actions against unarmed farmers was unproportional as the farmers and the leaders of the farmers union kept reiterating their objective of peacefully protesting for their demands. Sarvan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee told ANI news agency that “We will move peacefully and our objective is that the government listens to our demands.”

He additionally said “We do not want to break any barricades. We want a resolution of our issues through dialogue. But if they (the government) do nothing, then what will we do? It is our compulsion.” 

A video of Pandher can be viewed here:

A group of Tamil Nadu farmers in Trichy also lent support to ‘Delhi Chalo’ farmers’ protest. These farmers could be seen sitting on a road and exercising their right to protest and show solidarity freely and without any state interference. In a video, farmer leader P Ayyakannu can be heard saying, “As per the Constitution, we can move freely within the country for our rights but the police are not allowing farmers to protest in Delhi. If PM Modi contests from any constituency in Tamil Nadu in the coming elections, then farmers will file nomination against him from that constituency.”

His video can be viewed here:

Bharatiya Kisan Union president and Farmer leader Naresh Tikait also showed his solidarity and support with the protesting farmers, urging for the Modi-led union government to hold talks with the farmers, alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “stubborn approach” is proving to be dangerous. He stated that “Protests are underway in the entire country…The government should sit with us and hold discussions and give respect to the farmers. Government should think about this issue and try to solve this.” The BKU also chief wondered whether the farmers will always be in the agitation mode, blocking roads or heading towards Delhi.

His video can be viewed here:

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait also extended his support for the protesting farmers and said that if the BJP-led Haryana government or the Union government tried to create problems for these farmers then he is not far from them and could join the protest anytime.

MSP guarantee law and Swaminathan Committee report, Electricity amendment bill and debt waiver are the issues of the farmers across the country. There are several farmer unions and they have different issues. If the government creates a problem for these farmers who are marching towards Delhi, we are not far from them. We are in support of them,” Rakesh Tikait could be heard telling ANI. 

His video can be viewed here:


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