Farmers feel the chill at borders
With the sun playing hide-and-seek on Saturday, and a spell of light rain in the morning, farmers camping at Delhi’s four border points for the past 17 days, to protest against the new farm laws, have started feeling the chill as they dug in for a long winter standoff.
Although the temperature did not actually fall in Delhi, protesters said the light rain left them shivering.
At the Safdarjung observatory, the minimum temperature was recorded 14.4 degrees Celsius, up from 11.3 degrees Celsius on Friday and six degrees above the season’s normal. The maximum temperature was 21.8 degrees Celsius.
Anticipating that their protests may continue for long at four borders points of Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Chilla, farmers said they have stocked up on wood for bonfires, as well as blankets and woollens.
“Many tractor trolleys and truck that have arrived from parts of Punjab and Haryana over the last two days have brought with them wooden planks, gur (jaggery), peanuts, dates, gajjaks (peanut/walnut bars), and roasted grams, apart from ration and warm clothes. We will not step back until the government accepts our demands,” said Nishan Singh, a farmer from Mansa in Punjab.
At Singhu border, where the maximum number of farmers have gathered, many vendors from Delhi and Haryana were seen selling woollen coats, jackets, and trousers to protesters, who have turned their parked tractor trolleys and trucks into makeshift homes.
Sitting next to police barriers, Mohammad Sahid from Delhi’s Jama Masjid sold warm clothes priced between ₹200 and Rs 400. Several farmers were seen standing around, checking the quality of the clothes and bargaining with Sahid.
“I usually sold these items near Jama Masjid. But considering the change in weather and the presence of thousands at Singhu border, I decided to shift my business here. This is my first day and business is good. I have sold 40-50 jackets since morning,” said Sahid.
The light rain also had Good Samaritans rushing to these borders with boxes of woollen clothes, blankets and food items. One such group from Haryana’s Kaithal brought 500 blankets in a tractor trolley and gave them all to farmers. Ajay Kumar from the group said people of his village contributed money .
On Friday, Delhi Police chief SN Shrivastava visited Delhi’s border with Bahadurgarh to interact with security personnel deployed there.
“They are doing a commendable join this harsh winter,” Shrivastava tweeted.