Braving North India’s chilly and windy weather, a huge number of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan have taken out a protest march to Delhi from 26 to 28 November against three new agricultural ordinances implemented by the central government.
To prevent their entry into Delhi, on Thursday, strict arrangements were made by way of deploying police and security forces and putting barricades on the Delhi-Haryana border. This morning, farmers in Punjab broke through the barricade on the Patiala-Ambala highway and faced water cannons and tear gas shells. When these farmers reached Saadopur in Haryana, they had to face water cannons again.
Right now all of Delhi’s boundaries are jammed. Activist Yogendra Yadav, in Gurugram, had called the Kisan Morcha to Delhi, but he and all those who reached there were taken into custody. Section 144 has been imposed in Haryana.
One lakh farmers have claimed to have joined the protest. The farmers have said that if they are stopped they will block all the routes to Delhi. In view of the farmers’ Delhi journey, the DMRC, the metro authority, has suspended all Metro services from NCR to Delhi till further orders.
The protest has been primarily against the recently passed agricultural laws by the Centre that include the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020. Since the passing of these reforms, farmers have been actively voicing their concerns as they anticipate that the farm reforms would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, thereby transferring the control to big companies.
#FarmersProtest | "We have sufficient ration for 2 months. We are prepared": Farmers travelling to Delhi tell NDTV's Mohammed Ghazali
— NDTV (@ndtv) November 26, 2020
Meanwhile, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, on Thursday, invited them to join talks on December 3 to settle the issue. Requesting the protesting farmers to not disturb, the Union Minister guaranteed that the conversation will have positive outcomes.
While it is not right to stop the farmers from protesting against the policies and ordinances that would have a huge impact on their livelihood, it will be important to see what the centre takes as a reformative step.