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Farmer protests erupt across North India; spreads to Gujarat

Updated: Feb 12th, 2024

Farmer Protests (img: IANS)

The police along with paramilitary forces continued to intensify its security measures on Delhi borders, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur with cement blocks and pickets with nails installed, a day ahead of ‘Delhi Chalo March’ call given by farmers for Feb 13.

The two districts of Delhi police, Shahdara and Northeast, have also imposed section 144 (prohibitory orders) CrPC ahead of the protest.

“Whereas, information has been received that some farmer organisations have given a call to their supporters to gather/march to Delhi on 13.02.2024 in c/w their demands of law on MSP etc. They are likely to sit at the border of Delhi till their demands are met,” read the orders.

“Keeping in view, the kind of behaviour and adamant approach farmers showed in the past, there is a possibility of mobilization/activities of farmers/supporters from their respective districts to Delhi alongwith Tractor/Trolleys/Arms etc. Farmers will also come from Haryana, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, MP etc,” the order added.

“And Whereas, in order to avoid any untoward incident and to maintain Law & Order, a precautionary Order of Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, is required to be issued to save the life and property in the area,” it read further.

Farmer protests in Gujarat

Meanwhile, farmers in Gujarat have opted not to march to Delhi but will carry out protests in the state. Farmers in Gujarat have announced road blockages at multiple locations on Feb 16.

Alongside, a village ‘bandh’ has also been announced in patches of the state.

Farmer leader Dahya Patel said, “Farmers will organise agitations at district-taluka centres in the state on Feb 16. Small factories and businesses will observe a ‘bandh’ for a day over the Central Trade Union’s (CTU) appeal to support the farmers. These protests have been organised to oppose the injustice done by the central government to the farmers.”

Police blockades impacts Delhi-Haryana commuters

Meanwhile, large containers to block the road if needed have been kept on borders beside multiple security barricades, which have already been installed there to stop the farmers from entering the city.

As per officials,over 5,000 cops, including paramilitary forces, were on their toes to maintain law and order situation on the Delhi borders.

“We have started checking vehicles on the border areas and we are also keeping eye on the other mode of transport which protesters can take,” said a senior police official.

Heavy security and massive traffic diversions at the entry points in Haryana ahead of farmers’ protest march severely impacted the movements of commuters today.

Amidst the police build up on almost all national highways and major roads, the commuters opted village routes to enter Haryana for their onward journey.

Sufficient security arrangements have been made in Haryana to prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official in Chandigarh told agencies.

The sealing of Punjab-Haryana borders by putting up barricades, boulders, tippers filled with sand and barbed wires and iron spikes, has impacted the movement of vehicular traffic with huge traffic snarls.

In Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in the city for 60 days.

Farmers’ protest in Haryana

This has been the second biggest protest by the farmers since they agreed to withdraw the agitation against the now repealed farm laws in 2021.

Besides a legal guarantee for an MSP, the farmers are also demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, farm debt waiver and withdrawal of police cases, besides “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Local authorities in Haryana’s Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts have sealed almost all the entry points at the Punjab borders by raising huge concrete walls.

To prevent any disturbance in the law and order situation, the mobile Internet services will be suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts till 11.59 p.m. on Feb 13.

The government has advised commuters not to take the Delhi-Chandigarh highway.

(Source: IANS)

- Edited for style

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