Sangrur/Chandigarh/Ambala, November 26
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 Thursday on their “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s farm laws.
By late evening, a large group of them had reached the road toll plaza at Panipat, about 100 km from Delhi. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Haryana) leader Gurnam Singh said the protesters planned to spend the night there and will resume the march the next morning.
There were traffic snarls during the day at Delhi’s border with police checking vehicles coming in from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Metro services between Delhi and NCR areas were restricted.
At the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, police and Punjab farmers in their tractor-trolleys were locked in a confrontation for a couple of hours in the morning.
Police made announcements on loudspeakers asking the farmers assembled on the Punjab side to disperse.
But as protesters tried to push through barricades, the Haryana Police used a water cannon and lobbed teargas shells. Farmers chucked some steel barricades into the Ghaggar river from the bridge where they had been stopped.
Apart from this confrontation in Ambala district, there were face-offs between the protesters and police in Haryana’s Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Fatehabad and Jind districts bordering Congress-run Punjab.
Tension spiralled at the Shambhu interstate border as police used water cannons and teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers from Punjab who broke barricades, throwing some into the river, determined to enter the state.
Haryana Police handled situation with ‘great restraint’, says DGP
The Haryana Police acted with “great restraint” against Punjab-based farmers who broke barricades during their “Delhi Chalo” march to ensure law and order, DGP Manoj Yadava said on Thursday.
He said the farmers took an aggressive stand and tried to disturb law and order by “pelting stones” at police at many places.
Some police personnel sustained injuries and police and private vehicles were damaged, Yadava added.
The Haryana Director General of Police said farmers were marching towards Delhi but police would try to stop them without resorting to force.
The BKU Ekta Ughran in its state committee meeting has announced that they would move for Delhi tomorrow at 11.30 am from Dabwali and Khanauri.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) said “more than 50,000 farmers will be standing at the Delhi border by today evening”.
“The numbers are expected to swell through the night as thousands of tractors and trolleys are carrying farmers, women and children from interior areas of Punjab,” a statement by farmers’ coordination body said.
A large number of farmers marching from grain market in Boha to Delhi for “Delhi Chalo” agitation against three farm laws, entered Haryana by breaking the police barricades at Bahmanwala border.
On reaching the border, the farmers staged a protest and shouted slogans against the Union government for implementing three farm laws and trying to suppress the farmers by further imposing up to Rs 1 crore fine and sentence for stubble burning.
They told the Haryana Police to allow them to go to Delhi, but police did not allow them as they had sealed and barricaded the road, but as farmers outnumbered the Haryana Police personnel deployed there, the farmers broke the barricading and went further towards Delhi.
Karnal: One farmer of Punjab received injury after the police used tear gas and water cannons near Karna Lake.
Farmers broke Behmanwala barrier in Boha area in Mansa district to enter Haryana.
Similarly, farmers entered Hansipur in Haryana by breaking police barricade at Sardulgarh in Mansa district.
Farmers crossed Bastaraa toll plaza and moved towards Panipat.
Punjab farmers are getting ready to cross over to Haryana’s Sirsa district near Dabwali town.
After crossing Ambala, the Punjab farmers reached Kurukshetra where the administration had put up barricades and used water cannons to stop the farmers near Tyora village but the angry farmers broke open the barricades and continued their march towards Delhi on Thursday.
Similarly, at the Tukar border of Pehowa in Kurukshetra the Punjab farmers broke open the barricades, throwing some into the Markanda river, to enter Haryana. The police also used water cannons to disperse the farmers but to no avail.
A few protesters and cops were injured in the scuffle as thousands of peasants removed police barricades and heavy concrete boulders blocking their way to Delhi.
The injured were being shifted to hospital in an ambulance. The police have parked trucks in the middle of the highway in another bid to stop farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
As farmers and police faced off at a bridge with the Ghaggar river flowing below, tractors and trucks were lined up and people could be seen waving black flags and shouting slogans.
Police made announcements on loudspeakers to ask the farmers assembled on the Punjab side of the border to disperse. As smoke from the teargas clouded the air and uniformed security personnel milled around, people could be seen standing on top of trucks. Television visuals also showed some bricks lying on the road.
Some farmers tried to cross the barricades and remove them and some chucked them into the Ghaggar river. The Shambhu border point is about 200 km from Delhi.
Leaders of All India Kisan Sabha, who have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth movement of farmers from the border, say that there are almost 50,000 farmers at the spot.
Bracing overnight rains and chilly winds, thousands of protesting farmers on Thursday assembled at various places along the Haryana borders in Punjab amid mounting tension.