We will stop your march at all cost: Political message to farmers?

State forces Vs farmers: Police set up barricades to stop farmers marching for their rights, shut down key metro stations, amp up security on Haryana, Uttar Pradesh borders

Image Courtesy:m.hindustantimes.com

The mighty Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led state governments, who have earned political power fuelled by votes from farmers after making many promises have now ordered its police force to make sure the democratic protest march does not reach Delhi. Security has been heightened at Delhi’s borders with Faridabad, Gurgram in Haryana and along the borders with Uttar Pradesh. The march to Delhi was called soon after farmers in Punjab called off their rail blockade for 15 days to allow the entry of essential items.

Since yesterday, the Haryana government barricaded its borders, suspended bus services with Punjab. The Delhi Police which is controlled by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been on alert, and borders at Gurugram, Faridabad, Karnal (all in Haryana) as well as areas along Uttar Pradesh border have been fortified. Delhi Police has also ordered that exit gates at key Metro stations are shut down till late afternoon today. These metro stations are all in Central/ New Delhi and are near Ministries, Parliament, Prime Ministers and Cabinet ministers residences and offices. Even on regular days these areas have high security and large gatherings are not allowed. 


According to information shared by Indian Express, the Delhi Police has adopted a new strategy. They are using trucks, filled with sand to stop farmers’ tractors at the Singhu Border.


Protesting farmers in BJP-ruled Haryana have already had a tough time marching towards Delhi, even after they braved chilling water canons in freezing winters, razor wires, road blocks, in Ambala, and at Kurukshetra, all ordered in place by the Haryana government. There is a heavy security detail deployed on Delhi-Jammu highway  near Karna Lake in Karnal,  stated  journalists who have been sharing images and reports from the sites.


For the past  two days, Haryana police have been on overdrive, with traffic advisories warning commuters about a series of blockades at Ambala, Bhiwani, Karnal, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar and Sonipat. Blockades were also put up at the four major National Highways leading towards Delhi – from Ambala, Hisar, Rewari and Palwal – and at entry points from Haryana to Delhi stated news reports. According to Tribune, Chandigarh’s Mohali Police issued an advisory on Wednesday night against taking the Chandigarh-Zirakpur-Delhi and the Patiala-Zirakpur-Chandigarh routes, where farmers’ protest march had caused traffic jams.  Alternative routes suggested were — Chandigarh-Panchkula-Nada Sahib-Yamunanagar-Delhi route for Delhi, and the diversion from Chhatt Light point towards Mohali to Chandigarh.


As farmers, and those marching in solidarity with them moved ahead with determination even drenched in the cold winter evening, the state did not relent. Many figured out alternate inner routes to be able to reach Delhi. The massive security arrangements at the Delhi-Haryana border at Gurugram seem to show the fear that the political class fears when the farmers rise to demand justice. The build-up is the heaviest on the Haryana side stated news report, and the Delhi police have also gathered at the spot, determined not to let the protesters in. Unfortunate signs, as many in the police and para military forces also come from farming families themselves.

According to news reports the Delhi Police had already rejected all requests from farmers’ organisations from six states – Uttar Pradesh,  Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala & Punjab — seeking permission to hold a democratic protest in the National Capital against the farm laws they deem unfair. News reports stated that the Delhi Police even  said they would take legal action against violators, citing the ban on  gatherings as a part of the Covid-19 prevention protocol. However, a similar high security protocol has been seen when the farmers gave a Dilli Chalo call before.

Leaders like Sardar Jagjit Singh Dallewal led thousands of farmers through broken police barricades at the Punjab-Haryana border, and marched into Tohana in Haryana, moving towards Delhi.


And as it announced the closure of key metro stations in the Capital,  Delhi police called the farmers’  march towards Delhi a “snap protest/rally/march.”



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