3-hour-long 'chakka jam' ends peacefully. What's next?
The three-hour-long 'chakka jam' called by farmers on Saturday protesting internet suspension at borders in the aftermath of Republic Day violence ended peacefully. Many state and national highways were blocked, except in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, as decided earlier. Security was stepped up in Delhi, Haryana so that a rerun of what happened on Republic Day does not take place. The symbolic protest ended with Bharatiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait saying that the protests will continue until the demands are met. He said that the government has "time" till October to repeal the laws, implying that the protesters are planning to camp t Delhi borders till October.
Here is what happened in the 3-hour chakka jam:
> Before 'chakka jam' began, the entry and exit facilities of 10 Delhi Metro stations were closed. They remained closed for several hours until 'chakka jam' ended around 3pm. After that, the gates were opened.
> The blockade was not observed inside the Capital. Highways leading to Delhi were also free from blockade so that farmers can come to the protest sites. For the same reason, there was no blockade in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
> In Chandigarh, Chandigarh-Zirakpur, Amritsar-Pathankot, Tarn Taran-Kapurthala, Ferozepur-Fazilka, Muktsar-Kotkapura, Bathinda-Chandigarh, Ludhiana-Jalandhar, Panchkula-Pinjore, Patiala-Kaithal, Jind-Karnal, Karnal-Kaithal, Ambala – Chandigarh Highway, Ambala- Hisar and Mansa-Sirsa were blocked.
> The road blockade was observed in almost all states including Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan. In some areas, protesters were detained.
> Though there was no 'chakka jam' in Delhi, some protesters demonstrating at Delhi's Shahidi Park were detained.
> Internet services have been temporarily suspended in border areas of Delhi till the end of Saturday.
> The Congress extended its full support to the call of the road blockade.
> Delhi Police kept water canons ready for any untoward situation. Drones were deployed to keep a watch on protesters at Delhi borders.
> As far as the future of the protest is concerned, Bharatiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said the protest will go on until the demands of the farmers are met.
> Tikait said the government has "time" till October 2 to repeal the laws.
The protesters are under fire after their peaceful protest turned violent on Republic Day. Union leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav are on police radar for they promised a peaceful march. While Delhi Police is probing into the matter of Republic Day violence, the Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws is consulting with farmers from across the country. Mahapanchayats are also being held at several placed in UP, including Shamli, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, to bolster farmers' protest. If farmers continue camping till October, it will be 12 months of their protes