Farmers’ Delhi march: Haryana seals borders with Punjab, mobile internet suspended in 7 districts


Chandigarh: Elaborate arrangements are being made to seal the Punjab-Haryana borders in Ambala, Jind and Fatehabad districts ahead of farmers’ proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march February 13 to press the Centre to accept their various demands.

The Haryana Police Saturday issued a traffic advisory and urged commuters to limit travel on the main roads of the state to urgent situations February 13, anticipating potential traffic disruptions on major routes from Haryana to Punjab.

The Haryana government also ordered the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS in seven districts — Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa — ahead of farmers’ proposed march to Delhi.

Meanwhile, Haryana Director General of Police Shatrujeet Kapur along with Inspector General of Police (Ambala Range) Siwas Kaviraj and Ambala Superintendent of Police Jashandeep Singh Saturday visited the Shambhu border near Ambala to take stock of the arrangements in the wake of farmers’ proposed march next week.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had announced ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by more than 200 farmers’ unions February 13 to press the Centre to accept several demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

In the traffic advisory, police asked commuters going from Chandigarh to Delhi to take alternative routes via Derabassi, Barwala/Ramgarh, Saha, Shahbad, Kurukshetra, or through Panchkula, NH-344 Yamunanagar Indri/Pipli, Karnal.

Similarly, passengers travelling from Delhi to Chandigarh have been asked to reach their destination via Karnal, Indri/Pipli, Yamunanagar, Panchkula, or Kurukshetra, Shahbad, Saha, Barwala, Ramgarh, according to police.

The road on the Ghaggar flyover at the Shambhu border was shut for traffic movement with police placing cemented barricades on the road.

The Ghaggar river bed was also dug up to prevent farmers from reaching the highway through tractors, said officials.

Commuters travelling towards Ambala through Shambhu border faced inconvenience because of massive traffic snarls, the advisory said.

The general public is appealed to travel to Punjab only in urgent circumstances, it said.

According to the advisory, guidelines have been issued to all senior police officers to minimise inconvenience to the general public and ensure the smooth functioning of law and order.

Preparations have been made to temporarily change traffic routes in affected districts, especially Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Fatehabad, Sirsa, said police.

However, traffic movement will remain unaffected on all other routes in the state, said police while appealing to the public to refrain from unnecessary outings during this period.

Ambala Deputy Commissioner Shaleen said tight security arrangements have been made for February 13.

Instructions have been issued to set up checkpoints at places from where farmers are expected to come, said officials.

The police have already stocked up concrete blocks, barbed wire, sandbags, barricades and other items at the Shambhu border in Ambala to stop the protesters from marching towards the national capital.

Similar arrangements are being made in Jind and Fatehabad districts.

The farmers have planned to head to Delhi from the Ambala-Shambhu border, Khanauri-Jind and the Dabwali border.

Haryana Police has already deployed 50 companies of central paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the state.

Meanwhile, farmers are preparing themselves for marching towards Delhi even as they slammed the Haryana government for sealing the borders with Punjab.

“We are getting ready to participate in the march. We are taking all essential items including dry ration, cylinders, stoves, utensils and mattresses for the march,” said a farmer in Sangrur.

Farmers are readying their tractor trolleys to participate in the march, said police.

In Rajpura, farmers took out a tractor march as part of their preparations to head towards Delhi on February 13.

To avoid any detention by the Haryana police, several farmers have shifted from their homes to other places in Ambala.

A three-member team of Union ministers on Thursday had held a detailed discussion with the leaders of farmer organisations.

The farmer leaders had said the Central ministers assured them that they would hold a second round of the meeting soon but they had also stated that their proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on February 13 stands.

Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are also demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

In 2020, a large number of farmers from Punjab and nearby areas of Ambala gathered at the Shambhu border and broke police barriers to march towards Delhi.

The farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, held a year-long protest on Delhi’s border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — against the three now-repealed farm laws.

PTI


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