Farmers from Punjab, Haryana hold up supplies to Delhi by blocking its borders
Thousands of farmers protesting the Centre’s agriculture laws stayed put at the Singhu and Tikri border points for the third consecutive day on Saturday amid heavy police presence even after being offered a north Delhi ground to hold peaceful demonstrations.
The agitating farmers also burnt the effigy of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Tikri border. Assuring that the MSP will continue, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated that the central government was ready for talks with the farmer unions’ leaders on December 3 to resolve their issues.
After spending a cold night at the Tikri (Bahadurgarh) and Singhu (Sonepat) borders between Haryana and Delhi, the farmers said they will block roads connecting Delhi and disrupt supplies if their demands are not met. The farmers said they wanted to demonstrate at Ramlila Ground in Delhi but the police have allowed them to protest at Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari.
With tractor-trailers parked on either side of the highway at Singhu border, Johal Singh, a farmer from Ludhiana district, said: “If we start protesting at Nirankari Samagam Ground, no one will care. Delhi sirf tab sunti hai jab unka ration pani bandh karte hain (The Union government will listen only when we will block the supply of essential items).”
Refusing to enter Delhi, farmers at Tikri border gathered in the middle of the highway. Punjab’s farmers, who camped at Jind’s Julana for the night, have resumed their march to Delhi.
As many as 30 farmers unions protesting at Singhu border held a meeting on Saturday and decided not to enter Delhi. Rakesh Bains, media in-charge BKU (Charuni) said they will hold demonstrations at Singhu border on Saturday night. “ We will wait for other farmers and take decision about further planning on Sunday,” he added.
Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda reached Bahadurgarh to extend support to the protesting farmers.
Issuing an advisory, a spokesman of Sonepat police said, “The farmers have blocked the national highway 44 by parking their vehicles on the road. The commuters should avoid travelling via national highway 44 and use the NH-71A to reach Delhi via Gurugram, Buana, Narala and Safiyabad.”
Meanwhile, the famous Amrik Sukdev dhaba at Murthal has started free meals for farmers. A spokesman of the eatery said they have started free food for farmers for the sake of humanity. “The farmers are growing food for the entire nation and now, it’s our turn to feed them till the agitation continues,” he added.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is also offering meals to the farmers.
Traffic eased on Chandigarh-Delhi highway, diversions in Sonepat
The traffic movement along the Delhi-Chandigarh highway was eased on Saturday, a day after barricades were removed along the Sadopur/Lalru border on the Ambala-Chandigarh expressway.
The Ambala police had sealed the border near Kamboj Filling Station on November 26 and 27. SP Rajesh Kalia had on Friday evening ordered the removal of barricades on the borders—Sadopur and Shambhu (Ambala-Patiala).
Deputy superintendent of police (headquarters) Sultan Singh said the traffic movement has been eased and no farmer is being stopped. “There are a very few farmers crossing the Shambhu or Sadopur borders with clothes, food or other items for their fellow protesters, who have reached Delhi or are at the Haryana-Delhi borders,” he said.
Assistant superintendent of police, Sonepat, Nikita Khattar said the traffic from Sonepat to the border is completely blocked and multiple diversions have been created near Bahalgarh, Rai, Gannaur and other areas to ease the traffic bound for Delhi and beyond.