Farmers Protest Live: 14,000 Agitators March Towards Delhi Today; Haryana-Punjab Police In Action

After the farmer unions rejected the Central government’s five-year purchase plan, around 14,000 agitators will try to enter Delhi by breaching the barriers placed at Shambhu, Singhu and Ghazipur Borders. Union Minister Arjun Munda said that talks should be the way forward and added that the government will consider opinions on the issue. The protesters from Punjab plan to break barricades and enter Haryana. Farmer leaders will resume their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march today after rejecting the Centre’s proposal for procuring three pulses, maize and cotton at the minimum support price (MSP) by government agencies for five years. 

Centre Writes To Punjab Government

The Union Government has informed the Punjab government that nearly 14,000 people have gathered along the Punjab-Haryana border with 1,200 tractor-trolleys, 300 cars, 10 mini-buses as well as small vehicles. The Central government also conveyed its strong objections to the Punjab government for allowing such a huge gathering. In a letter to the Punjab government, the Union Home Ministry said that the deteriorating law-and-order situation in the state has been a matter of concern over the last few days. The home ministry also asked the state government to take stringent action against lawbreakers. The home ministry said many miscreants in the guise of farmers were indulging in stone-pelting, mobilising heavy machinery along the Shambhu on Punjab’s border with Haryana.

Haryana Police Writes To Punjab Cops 

On the other hand, Haryana Director General of Police Shatrujeet Kapoor asked his Punjab counterpart to seize bulldozers and other earthmoving equipment from the interstate border which they say protesters will use to break barricades and it could pose a threat to the security forces deployed at the border. After this, Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav ordered state police to not allow heavy vehicles including bulldozers, JCB and earthmovers to move towards Khanauri and Shambu border points. 

Fresh Clashes Possible

With Haryana and Punjab police taking action against heavy vehicles including earthmovers, fresh clashes are most likely between protestors and security forces as agitators have said that they will move forward with these vehicles. The farmers had also clashed with the security personnel at the two border points. The protesting farmers have been camping at the Shambhu and Khanauri points on the Punjab and Haryana border since their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march was stopped by security forces on February 13. 

Punjab And Haryana HC Order

The Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday slammed the protestors for camping at the Shambhu border with hundreds of tractors, saying tractor-trailers can’t be used on highways. A bench of acting Chief Justice G.S. Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji questioned the Punjab government for allowing the assembly of farmers in such large numbers. Justice Sandhawalia orally asked the state government to ensure that protestors are not gathered in large numbers as “they have the right to protest but it is subjected to reasonable restrictions.”