Farmers bring down barricades installed during the Delhi Chalo march against the new farm reform laws, at Punjab Haryana border. (Photo by Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Farmers bring down barricades installed during the Delhi Chalo march against the new farm reform laws, at Punjab Haryana border. (Photo by Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Farmers let into Delhi after clashes at border

Several layers of barriers could not keep the protesters – mostly from Punjab, demanding a repeal of three laws enacted by Parliament – as they pelted stones and broke barricades to push through with their “Delhi Chalo” march.
By Shiv Sunny and Anvit Srivastava | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2020 06:27 AM IST

Thousands of farmers protesting the Union government’s new farm laws pushed their way into Delhi on Friday after skirmishes with the police, which fired tear gas and used water cannons to stop them from coming into the Capital, but later backed off and agreed to a peaceful demonstration within the city.

Several layers of barriers could not keep the protesters – mostly from Punjab, demanding a repeal of three laws enacted by Parliament – as they pelted stones and broke barricades to push through with their “Delhi Chalo” march.

The new laws allow agribusinesses to freely trade farm produce without restrictions, permit private traders to stockpile large quantities of essential commodities for future sales, and lay down new rules for contract farming.

The farmers groups, however, say that the laws are quiet on minimum support prices and will encourage monopolies and make them vulnerable to exploitation by big corporations.

Delhi Police agreed to let the farmers march into the Capital after hours of a stand-off at some entry points. While thousands – gathered at Delhi’s Tikri border (it opens into Bahadurgarh) – proceeded in trucks to Burari after they were allowed to stage demonstrations at the Sant Nirankari Ground, a larger group of agitators gathered at Singhu border (it opens into Sonepat) stayed put as it couldn’t build consensus on whether to accept the police’s offer or continue the march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jantar Mantar, or some other venue close to the corridors of power.

By Friday morning, thousands gathered in trucks, tractors and trailers as they set up tents and camps. The police, too, camped on the other side through the night as large cement slabs, mud-filled trucks, barricades, and barbed wires separated them.

The stand-off at the Singhu border began around 8.30am, when a group of farmers tried to remove the barricades. The police responded by firing tear gas shells that appeared to temporarily contain the farmers. At around 9.30am, farmers at the Tikri border made a similar attempt. The police resorted to the use of water cannons and tear gas shells.

A little before 2pm, farmers managed to remove the barbed wires and then used ropes to tie the cement barriers to pull them out of their way at the Singhu border. They then brought down the iron barricades and threatened to march into Delhi.

The developments came a day after thousands of farmers from Punjab broke barricades and forced their way into Haryana, braving tear gas shells and water cannons on their way to Delhi, which prepared for a law-and-order challenge as well as traffic disruptions. The farmers threw several barricades from an overbridge into the Ghaggar river, facing tear gas shells by law enforcement personnel.

Traffic was disrupted in many parts of Delhi on Friday. The Delhi Traffic Police posted a series of tweets, asking people to avoid outer Ring Road, Mukarba Chowk, GTK road, NH-44 and Singhu border in view of the march.

Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, previously announced they planned to go to Delhi through several routes – Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa. Tension remained high at all border points on Friday evening.

As the issue snowballed on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said no government in the world can stop farmers fighting the “battle of truth”.

In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said the PM should remember that whenever arrogance takes on truth, it gets defeated. “The Modi government will have to agree to the demands of the farmers and take back the black laws. This is just the beginning!” he tweeted with the hashtag ‘IamWithFarmers’.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh welcomed the Union government’s decision to allow the farmers to enter Delhi to exercise their democratic right to protest. “They should also now initiate immediate talks to address farmers’ concerns on the #FarmLaws and resolve the simmering issue,” he said on Twitter.

Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar was quoted by ANI as saying: “The government has always been ready to discuss issues with farmers. We have invited farmers’ organisations for another round of talks on December 3. I appeal to them to drop the agitation in view of Covid-19 and winter.”

The scenes from both borders on Friday morning were of mayhem.

At Singhu, a man climbed into a mud-laden truck – deployed by the police to keep farmers away – found the ignition key inside, and drove it into a water cannon parked nearby. As a group of policemen tried to stop him, he went on to ram a parked private bus and push it for nearly 100m before being apprehended. At another spot on the same border, a group of men climbed onto a tear gas machine vehicle and twisted the barrel to face the vehicle.

The police responded by cane-charging them, firing several tear gas shells, and using water cannons on them. While some farmers crushed the shells with their feet, a few others wrapped them in cloth and hurled them back at the police.

Gaurav Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (outer north), said that the situation was in control. “We had to use some force to contain them, but the situation was in control the entire day,” said Sharma.

The farmers were not keen on returning to their homes. “Some farmers have come from 400km away. We have dealt with the Haryana Police for long distances and covered roads dug out to keep us away. We are not going to back off at the last lap of our march,” said Saj Rinku, a farmer from Moga.

“After discussion with farmer leaders, the protesting farmers have been permitted inside Delhi to hold peaceful protest at Nirankari Ground in Burari. The Delhi Police appeals to them to maintain peace,” said Eish Singhal, Delhi Police spokesperson.

Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal said: “We have been allowed safe passage to Delhi.”

Before being allowed through the Tikri border, farmers clashed with the police and tried to remove a truck, which was placed as a barricade, by tying it to a tractor with the help of a chain.

At the Singhu border, the police said they couldn’t find the farmers’ group leaders to discuss the next course of action. The farmers said that they did not have consensus on whether or not to accept the Burari offer. “We have not come all the way from Punjab and Haryana to be sent to an empty ground far away from the centre of Delhi. We could as well have sat at our homes. We’ll either march up to the Rashtrapati Bhavan or somewhere closer, or continue our protest at this spot. Our leaders are talking among themselves to decide,” said Dalveer Singh, a farmer from Ludhiana.

In Burari, farmers began gathering by Friday evening. The police and government agencies also began preparing the ground by bringing in mobile toilets, water tankers, tents.

Hoshiyar Singh, a 65-year-old farmer from Ropar, Punjab, said they reached Nirankari Ground around 4pm. “We had been detained near Bangla sahib on Thursday night. Police later released us and we came here. Our other farmer friends are at Singhu Border and they plan to stay put until we get Ramlila Ground as the site to protest,” he said.

RS Mani of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University said: “Farmers fear the reforms will disturb the minimum support price mechanism. Since the government sets MSPs, farmers are fair to demand actual realisation of those MSPs. But fears of any imminent threat to the MSP system seem exaggerated.”

With inputs from PTI
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
In the case of coronavirus vaccines, the government has said that there can be mild AEFIs
In the case of coronavirus vaccines, the government has said that there can be mild AEFIs

26 adverse events in Capital on Monday, two hospitalised: Govt

By Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 12:37 AM IST
Other than the two severe adverse reactions, 24 minor reactions such as rashes, swelling at the site of injection, and fever were reported in the city on Monday. No adverse events were reported in those who were administered Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin on Monday, according to data seen by HT.
Close
Security and healthcare workers wait for the start of the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination drive at the RML hospital in New Delhi. (AFP)
Security and healthcare workers wait for the start of the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination drive at the RML hospital in New Delhi. (AFP)

COVID-19: Delhi records 161 cases, 8 deaths; positivity rate dips to 0.32 pc

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:50 PM IST
The infection tally in the city rose to 6,32,590 and the death toll mounted to 10,754.
Close
WhatsApp and Facebook, represented by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi, told the court that the plea was not maintainable and many of the issues raised in it were without any foundation.(REUTERS)
WhatsApp and Facebook, represented by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi, told the court that the plea was not maintainable and many of the issues raised in it were without any foundation.(REUTERS)

It is voluntary, don't accept it: Delhi HC on WhatsApp's privacy policy

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:37 PM IST
The court also pointed out that even Google maps captures all data and stores it.
Close
Footover bridges are among the most escapist places of a city, especially when suspended in places that don’t appeal to crowds during certain times of the day
Footover bridges are among the most escapist places of a city, especially when suspended in places that don’t appeal to crowds during certain times of the day

Delhiwale: A (mid-air) walk to remember

By Mayank Austen Soofi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:47 AM IST
Finding peace amid rush, on an overbridge
Close
While the DDA is asking people to give a broad vision for the city, citizens want an issue-based discussion on various aspects of MPD-2041.(HT Photo)
While the DDA is asking people to give a broad vision for the city, citizens want an issue-based discussion on various aspects of MPD-2041.(HT Photo)

DDA asks residents for input on Delhi’s Master Plan 2041

By Risha Chitlangia, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:18 AM IST
“People can give their suggestions and share their ideas about what kind of the city they want Delhi to be. The idea behind this exercise is to get maximum participation,” said a senior DDA official.
Close
In the last one and a half years, Delhi Police’s economic offences wing has registered 19 cases of cheating and fraud against various developers and housing society groups.(File photo)
In the last one and a half years, Delhi Police’s economic offences wing has registered 19 cases of cheating and fraud against various developers and housing society groups.(File photo)

Delhi: Search for an affordable house lands 19 in fraud net

By karn pratap singh, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:09 AM IST
Pushkar Rawat, Shivali Seth, and thousands of home buyers were duped by various developers and promoters, who allegedly tricked them into investing in different housing schemes by fraudulently using the DDA’s land-pooling policy, which is yet to become operational.
Close
The Delhi government has also introduced a similar concept in 2015, calling it ‘car free day’ where in some roads of the city private vehicles were not allowed to ply for selected days.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
The Delhi government has also introduced a similar concept in 2015, calling it ‘car free day’ where in some roads of the city private vehicles were not allowed to ply for selected days.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

‘No Car Sunday’ organised in Connaught Place

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:00 AM IST
The campaign called, ‘No Car Sunday’, which was first started by a group of teenage environment activists as a local initiative to discourage neighbours from using their cars for one day of the week to help reduce vehicular emissions in the national capital.
Close
Manish Sisodia said, “Education ministers from all states should work together to create better systems for India."(PTI)
Manish Sisodia said, “Education ministers from all states should work together to create better systems for India."(PTI)

Govt to work on enhance teacher training and cutting dropout rates: Sisodia

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:50 AM IST
Setting up cadre of specialist teachers, collaborative professional development, shared lesson-planning, and providing teachers with agency and autonomy along with increased interaction with parents were suggested as key measures for improvement of school education and teacher training.
Close
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings show that on Sunday Delhi’s overall AQI was 347, in the ‘very poor’ zone. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings show that on Sunday Delhi’s overall AQI was 347, in the ‘very poor’ zone. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Delhi’s air improves, mercury set to rise this week

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:43 AM IST
“Better wind speed has helped improve dispersion. Air quality is likely to stay in the ‘very poor’ category for the next two days. Further improvement is expected on January 20, when the AQI will come down to the lower end of ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ category,” the Safar forecast read.
Close
AAP’s MLA Atishi said, “Aarti Yadav, along with former councillor from the same ward, Anil Yadav, have joined the AAP. We welcome them. Several leaders of the BJP are fed up with the corruption of the BJP-ruled MCDs. To contribute towards development-centric politics, they are joining the AAP.”(Screengrab)
AAP’s MLA Atishi said, “Aarti Yadav, along with former councillor from the same ward, Anil Yadav, have joined the AAP. We welcome them. Several leaders of the BJP are fed up with the corruption of the BJP-ruled MCDs. To contribute towards development-centric politics, they are joining the AAP.”(Screengrab)

BJP MCD councillor Aarti Yadav joins AAP

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:38 AM IST
Aarti Yadav, who is the councillor of ward no 49 in southwest Delhi’s Kapashera, said on Sunday, “I want to work for the people in my ward and I can see opportunity to do good work only in the AAP. There is too much corruption in the BJP.”
Close
The city, on Sunday, also recorded a positivity rate of 0.36% which, health officials said, is also the lowest so far.(Bloomberg)
The city, on Sunday, also recorded a positivity rate of 0.36% which, health officials said, is also the lowest so far.(Bloomberg)

246 new Covid-19 cases in Capital — positivity rate hits another low

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:06 AM IST
“We can comfortably assume that the third peak in Delhi is over. It is even better now that the vaccine has arrived. However, I still urge people to continue wearing masks and take all necessary precautions against Covid-19,” health minister Satyendar Jain said in a press conference on Sunday.
Close
Health care workers queue up to get vaccinated at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi on Saturday.( )
Health care workers queue up to get vaccinated at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi on Saturday.( )

Health care workers in Delhi who skipped vaccine shot to get another slot

By Abhishek Dey, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:00 AM IST
With the vaccination drive launched on Saturday, around 8,100 healthcare workers in Delhi were slotted for the first day of the jabs. However, of these, just 4,319 (around 53%) turned up at the 81 vaccine centres in the Capital.
Close
A classroom at Mount Abu School in Rohini being sanitised, a day before schools in Delhi resume in-person sessions for students of classes 10 and 12.( anchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
A classroom at Mount Abu School in Rohini being sanitised, a day before schools in Delhi resume in-person sessions for students of classes 10 and 12.( anchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Delhi schools to open for classes 10 and 12 from Monday

By Kainat Sarfaraz, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 02:54 AM IST
Last week, the Delhi government allowed all public and private schools in the national capital to call students of classes 10 and 12 back to the campus from January 18 for pre-board preparations and practical work.
Close
A health care worker receives a Covaxin shot at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Saturday.(Amal KS/HT PHOT)
A health care worker receives a Covaxin shot at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Saturday.(Amal KS/HT PHOT)

AIIMS guard who showed severe allergic reaction to vaccine released

By Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:01 AM IST
According to doctors at AIIMS, the security guard had complained of uneasiness, palpitation, headache, and developed rash after 10-15 minutes of having been given a shot. He was moved to the icu, and remained under observation of specialists for a day before being discharged on Sunday evening.
Close
The President's Bodyguard during rehearsals for the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in New Delhi, India.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
The President's Bodyguard during rehearsals for the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in New Delhi, India.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

Shorter parade, age cap on guests: Covid-19 casts a shadow on Republic Day

By Anvit Srivastava
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 07:41 AM IST
Officials privy to the preparations said only 25,000 people will be allowed to watch the parade on Rajpath compared to over 100,000 people who usually turn up for the event. They said only 4,000 people from the general public will be allowed. Rest of the spectators will be VVIP and VIP guests.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP