Barred from entering Haryana, farmers from Punjab prepare for long haul at inter-state border
Barred from entering Haryana en route their Delhi Chalo march, leaders of farmer organisations of Punjab on Wednesday announced that they will sit on dharna at the inter-state border for a week.
The decision was taken after the Haryana government placed barricades and sealed all main entry points from Punjab to prevent the farmers from marching to the national capital.
Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said, “We don’t want a confrontation. Our aim is to oppose the Centre’s farm laws. If we are not allowed to cross Haryana and head for Delhi on Thursday, our protest destination will be the border points for a week. If we get public support, the duration of the dharnas may be increased.”
The Left-leaning union is considered the largest among the 31 farmer unions with a significant following in Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda districts.
“Haryana has restricted movement. One can come from Haryana into Punjab but cannot go from our state,” said Darshan Pal, the president of the Krantikari Kisan Union.
Shambu, Ghanaur, Dera Bassi, Khanauri, Pehowa and Jakhal are the main entry points into Haryana from Patiala, Mohali and Bathinda districts and a large number of farmers reached these points on Wednesday.
“Despite tough weather conditions, it is going to be a long protest by farmers. They are leaving home and readying to protest for two to three months. They are bringing along tents, ration, firewood, clothes, medicines and other articles of daily needs,” he added.
KHANAURI, DABWALI KEY SPOTS
Farm activists started reaching Dabwali border in Bathinda and Khanauri in Sangrur since Tuesday night. “Khanauri will be the key point where our activists will gather in the maximum number followed by Doomwali on the Bathinda-Sirsa border near Dabwali. Our supporters will start gathering from Wednesday evening at the designated spots,” Ugrahan said.
Nearly 1,000 BKU activists had gathered at Doomwali border till Wednesday afternoon.
Traffic from Bathinda in Punjab to Haryana was blocked after the Sirsa district administration sealed the Doomwali barrier. Commuters were allowed to enter Haryana from the Talwandi-Rori route and via Sardulgarh in Mansa district.
Police sources said vehicles carrying flags of farmer associations were stopped by Haryana Police at the two border points.
TRAFFIC JAM ON DELHI-SANGRUR HIGHWAY
An estimated 1,000 BKU, Sidhupur, activists tried to enter Haryana with tractor-trolleys through Khanauri but the Haryana Police stopped them in their tracks. The BKU, Sidhupur, members had assembled at Mehlan Chowk, 10km from Sangrur, and headed towards Khanauri. The tractor-trolleys caused long jams on the Delhi-Sangrur highway.
Members of the BKU, Ugrahan, camped near the Khanauri border but did not try to enter Haryana. They will attempt to march to Delhi on November 26.
MONITORING SITUATION CLOSELY: BATHINDA IG
Activists of 30 other farmer unions from south Malwa are to gather at Talwandi Sabo on Wednesday night and they are scheduled to head for Haryana early on Thursday. However, activists of Bharti Kisan Union, Sidhupur, from Bathinda and adjoining areas left for Delhi on Tuesday afternoon itself.
Inspector general of police (IG), Bathinda range, Jaskaran Singh said the farmer organisations had sought permission to reach Delhi via Doomwali and Talwandi-Rori routes in Bathinda and via Sardulgarh in Mansa district. “We are monitoring the situation closely to ensure law and order,” the IGP said.
(With inputs by Avtar Singh at Khanauri, Sangrur)
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