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Farmers camping at Haryana-Rajasthan border gear up to reach Delhi for tractor rally

Farmers camping at Shahjahanpur, Dharuhera and Punhana on the Haryana-Rajasthan border are gearing up to take part in the tractor march scheduled to take place on the Outer Ring Road in the national Capital on Republic Day
By Sadia Akhtar, Gurugram
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:39 PM IST

Farmers camping at Shahjahanpur, Dharuhera and Punhana on the Haryana-Rajasthan border are gearing up to take part in the tractor march scheduled to take place on the Outer Ring Road in the national Capital on Republic Day.

Farmers from different states have started arriving at the protest sites with their tractors and a rehearsal was also conducted in Punhana on Saturday. Protestors at Shahjahanpur said that the heads of various villages in Alwar have pledged support for the tractor march. At least 500 tractors are expected to join the rally. The Delhi Police on Saturday allowed the protesters to hold the proposed tractor rally after days of deliberation. Farmer leaders have been allowed to enter Delhi and travel up to 100km distance on each route.

Farmers from Rajasthan, Haryana, and Maharashtra have been protesting at Jaisinghpur Khera, located near Shahjahanpur in Alwar district since December last year. Another group of farmers is camping at Dharuhera while farmers from Mewat are agitating at Sunehra-Junehra on the Haryana-Rajasthan border. Farmers have been protesting against the three new farm laws, which were passed by the Centre in September last year. They fear that the new laws will leave them at the mercy of big corporations and end the minimum support price (MSP) for important crops.

Sanjay Madhav, state convener of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee in Rajasthan, said that farmers from different states would be taking part in the march scheduled for January 26 with at least 500 tractors.

“We will take part in the farmers march on Republic Day with our tractors and return back to the protest site at Shahjahanpur. Our protest will continue till the farm laws are repealed,” said Madhav. He said that farmers would be taking part in the march in large numbers amid a growing sentiment that the government was not taking their concerns seriously. “The government should understand that the farmers will not back down. As the impasse over the farm laws gets prolonged, farmers’ disappointment with the government is also on the rise,” said Madhav.

He added that managing a large number of farmers on January 26 would be a challenge and that farmers would stay vigilant in the light of recent incidents. In a late-night press conference on Friday, farmer union leaders in Delhi had presented a masked man who claimed that he, along with another 10 people, including two girls, had been sent to the protest site at Singhu to incite violence. “Farmers are keeping a check on suspicious people and handing them over to the police if required,” he said.

Farmers camping at Dharuhera will also be taking part in the march on Republic Day. Farmers from Rajasthan are reaching the protest site on a daily basis. Harvinder Singh Gill, a farmer from Shri Ganganagar, said that the goal is to march on the Outer Ring Road with tractors on January 26. “We are not planning to proceed ahead for now but will take part in the march. On a daily basis, 20-30 trolleys from Ganganagar are reaching Dharuhera,” said Gill. He said that there are nearly 150 tractors at Dharuhera currently and the number of tractors is expected to touch 300 by January 26.

Farmers from Mewat are also participating in a sit-in protest at Sunhera-Jurehra, near Punhana, at the Rajasthan-Haryana border. On Saturday, a rehearsal was conducted at the site ahead of the tractor march on Republic Day.

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