Farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ for MSP Law Pushes Ahead; Reports of Chaos, Teargas at Shambhu Border
Ghaziabad: Security arrangements at Ghazipur border in view of farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march. Image Courtesy: PTI
New Delhi: After the crucial second round of talks with the government failed to make any headway, the protesting farmers carried on with their Delhi Chalo march on Tuesday. There were reports of chaos on the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border as the Haryana police fired teargas shells as farmers tried to break the erected barricades. Drones have been deployed to keep track of farmers’ movements, most of whom are on tractors.
Delhi has imposed Section 144 throughout the city for 30 days, erected barricades and iron spikes on the borders to prevent the farmers from entering the Capital.
Internet and bulk SMS services were suspended for Tuesday in seven districts of Haryana- Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa. Several farmer leaders’ social media accounts were also reportedly blocked the previous day.
The farmers’ protest, being led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, has been demanding legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, as promised by the BJP-led government at the Centre, among other demands like loan waiver and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations. The farmers participating in the protest are mainly from Punjab and Haryana.
According to Indian Express, the second round of talks with three Union ministers in Chandigarh on Monday evening ended in stalemate.
Even as the fortification of borders continued to stop the farmers from marching ahead, Sarwan Singh Pandher, coordinator of KMM, in a video message said the farmers did not want any clash with the authorities and would peacefully appeal for their demands.
"Haryana farmers have faced a lot of pressure in the past weeks, but have not backed-out. All roads are closed in Haryana. It's now their turn as the whole protest now depends on Haryana," he said in the message.
The farmers, according to reports, said they were prepared for the “long haul” and were carrying ration for six months. They said they would not budge till their demands are met.
The two organisations leading the Delhi Chalo march are different from the farmers collective Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which has also given a call for a countrywide ‘Grameen Bandh’ along with Central trade unions on February 16, on broadly similar demands.
On Monday, SKM condemned the Centre’s fortification of borders and treating protesters as “enemies of the country”. In a statement, the SKM also condemned arrest of various leaders of its member organisations by the Madhya Pradesh government ahead of the February 16 call for Grameen Bandh.
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