Punjab-Haryana border sealed ahead of farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on Feb 13 – Reports

In what seems like a possible repeat of the massive 2020 Farmers' Protest, internet access has also been cut in some areas in the run-up to the planned Feb 13 gathering involving some 200 farmers' unions

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A farmer in Ludhiana, Panjab, India. | Source: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, Flickr

By Asia Samachar | India |

The Punjab-Haryana border has been sealed as farmers gear up for the proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on February 13 to press for the demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

In what seems like a possible repeat of the massive 2020 Farmers’ Protest, internet access has also been cut in some areas in the run-up to the planned gathering involving some 200 farmers’ unions.

The Haryana state government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is also at power at the centre, has sealed the borders of Haryana with Punjab have been sealed with huge cement barricades and barbed wires. It has also invoked Section 144 in a number many districts of Haryana with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other security agencies being deployed along with the police force.

Media reports said commuters on the National Highway-44 have started facing inconvenience with the Haryana Government sealing the interstate border with Punjab at Shambhu on Saturday. The Kurukshetra-Patiala border and some rural routes in Kurukshetra were also sealed.

Long queues of vehicles were witnessed at the Shambhu border with commuters claiming that the highway was shut without prior information.

The Haryana Police issued an advisory for people travelling on the Chandigarh-Delhi National Highway-44. People going from Chandigarh to Delhi are advised to take alternative routes via Dera Bassi, Barwala/Ramgarh, Saha, Shahabad and Kurukshetra, or through Panchkula, NH-344 Yamunanagar, Indri/Pipli and Karnal.

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, late in the night, issued a letter to Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) coordinator Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) coordinator Sarwan Singh Pandher inviting them for a meeting at Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration ( MAGSIPA) in Chandigarh at 5 pm on February 12. A three member central team, including Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, will attend the meeting. The letter states that discussions on farmers’ demands will take place in the meeting.

That meeting was coordinated by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who had later said that a general consensus had emerged on rolling back the cases registered against farmers during the agitation against the now-repealed farm laws. The Union ministers, he said, had also agreed on exemplary punishment for the manufacturers and sellers of spurious seeds, reported The Indian Express.

Dallewal, meanehile, warned that “if talks fail”, a convoy of more than 2,000 tractors will move from Punjab towards Delhi. “We will push aside all barricades as we had done in November 2020. Over 500 tractors from UP and nearly 200 from Rajasthan will also take part in march,” he added.

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(Asia Samachar, x 2023)

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