Farmers’ group cross hurdles to reach Delhi border, face off with cops looms
Thousands of farmers, most of them from Punjab, have crossed Bahadurgarh in Haryana and reached the Tikri border near Delhi despite police using water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse them.
Many farmers are yet to reach Bahadurgarh as they are busy preparing their meals on the roadside between Rohtak and Bahadurgarh, nearly 40 kilometers away from Tikri border.
After a day of clashes, the farmers, who had entered Haryana from Ratia border, have been travelling since Thursday evening. They said the police had used barricades at Hansi and Hisar but they managed to cross them. However, the Rohtak police had stopped the second group of farmers at Rohad village by digging up holes on the Rohtak-Delhi national highway.
Shamsher Singh, a farmer from Ludhiana, told HT that they will cross all hurdles to reach Delhi.
“Ab Delhi dur nahi hai paji (Now Delhi is not far away brother). We had started our journey at 4 pm on Thursday and reached Haryana through Ratia border. The Haryana farmers have been clearing their fields to give us a path. Throughout the night, we have been marching and local farmers have been providing food, tea, warm clothes and guiding us through short routes to avert police nakaas,” he added.
Another farmer, Gurmail Singh, who was busy preparing a meal for three dozen farmers at Rohad village, said the Haryana government behaved like an enemy but the local farmers have been welcoming them with open hearts.
“Local farmers told us that a few people were instigating them not to cooperate with Punjab farmers as they had stopped their share of Satluj-Yamuna link canal but our brothers have now become intelligent. The elder and younger brothers will return back from Delhi after winning the battle against the Union government,” he added.
Jagroop Singh, a farmer from Ludhiana’s Sheikh Daulat village, said that over 300 farmers from their village have been marching towards Delhi against the three farm laws.
“We have asked for one member from each family to take part in the protest. We know this is a long battle but we have ration for three months. We are not caring about the ongoing wheat season because if the government will not roll back these laws, there will be no use of growing crops,” he added.
Heavy security deployment has been done on the Singhu border at Sonepat and Tikri border at Bahadurgarh to prevent farmers from crossing over to Delhi.
Delhi Metro entry and exit gates at Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, Bahadurgarh City, Pandit Shree Ram Sharma, Tikri Border, Tikri Kalan and Ghevra stations on the Green Line have been closed. The police had installed 7 feet height wall on the Delhi-Rohtak highway at Rohad toll plaza in Haryana but farmers managed to cross it by breaking it from one half of the highway. Now long queue of vehicle is stranded at the toll plaza.
The Delhi Police has stationed sand-laden trucks and water cannons and used barbed wire for fencing at the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana to prevent the protesters from entering the city. Police were also deployed on Delhi’s border with Faridabad and Gurgaon.
One more group of farmers had reached near Delhi’s Tikri border after entering Haryana from Rohtak district. A farmer leader leading a group of protesters at Haryana’s border with Punjab in Dabwali, said they will break police barriers later in the day to march ahead.
On Thursday, farmers from Punjab faced water cannons and broke police barriers at the state’s border with Haryana as they pushed towards the national capital on their march against the Centre’s farm laws.
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