Cops stop Nuh farmers from reaching Palwal for tractor rally
Farmers from Nuh were allegedly prevented from joining the tractor rally at Palwal by the Nuh police on Thursday. Civil society members and social activists from Gurugram also couldn’t join the farmers’ rally and instead, marched with their tractors within the city.
Ramzan Chaudhary, head of Jai Kisan Andolan’s Nuh unit, said that tractors from various blocks in Nuh were supposed to head towards Palwal as part of the farmers’ rally on Thursday. However, the police allegedly prevented farmers from proceeding ahead due to which many of them couldn’t participate in the rally. Chaudhary said that he was placed under house arrest by the police and taken into preventive custody later.
“Our plan was to join the march with members from different blocks. Only two to three people could step out whereas the rest were placed under house arrest. I was the first one to be picked up at 8am. They did not allow us to gather. Those who managed to come out with their tractors were detained by the police and not allowed to move till 3pm,” said Chaudhary. He said that while the participation in the march was curtailed heavily due to the police, some people were able to join the farmers’ agitation at Palwal towards the evening.
Farmers from across the country have been protesting against the three new farm laws that were passed by the Centre in September last year. They fear that the new laws will leave them at the mercy of corporations and end the minimum support price (MSP) for important crops. The call for Thursday’s march was given by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha— the umbrella body of farmer unions protesting at Delhi’s borders.
Farmer leaders said that the rally was a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade that they plan to take out on January 26 to protest against the three agriculture laws.
Rashid Ahmed, an advocate, was detained by the Nuh police, along with several others at Punhana, said that the police had given no reason except that they had official directions. “We were taken into custody in the morning and made to sit at the police station. We were released only post afternoon,” said Ahmed, who said around 100-150 farmers were planning to join the march in the morning but were stopped by the police.
“We told the police that we simply wanted to join the farmers’ march and were not doing anything unlawful. They said they had directions from their seniors,” said Ahmed, who joined the farmers’ rally at Palwal in the evening.
RS Rathee, head of Gurgaon Citizen Council, said that residents protesting against the three laws were supposed to proceed towards Delhi with tractors but the police didn’t allow them to cross the border. “We were going to Delhi with our tractors but the police did not allow us to cross the Sirhaul toll. So, we decided to cover various parts of the city on our tractors. With 15 tractors from Jharsa and Daulatabad villages, we marched through Sohna Road, Sector 5, Sector 14 and old Gurugram,” said Rathee.
Inspector Rajesh Kumar, station house officer, KMP Expressway, said that no significant movement of farmers was recorded near Pachgaon. “The traffic situation was not affected,” said Kumar.
Deputy superintendent of police, Nuh, Punhana Vivek Chaudhary, said that the police had not detained anyone but only prevented them from moving ahead. “These allegations are baseless. We did not detain anyone. We simply didn’t allow them to cross and they were asked to go back,” said Chaudhary.