Farmers are on their way to the national capital for the “Delhi Chalo” (Go to Delhi) protest against the new legislation passed by the right-wing government farm laws. While Haryana heavily barricaded borders and suspended bus services with neighbouring Punjab, Delhi has also stepped up on vigil and suspended Metro services.
According to the NDTV news channel report, Police in New Delhi’s neighbouring state of Haryana, governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the farmers who tried to march towards New Delhi on foot, in buses and tractors.
The situation got tense at the Shambu inter-state border on the national highway as protesting farmers threw police barricades off the bridge into the Ghaggar river. Police resorted to using water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse the farmers.
After a two-hour stand-off, police eventually allowed the marchers to continue towards the capital. The borders of the national capital have been sealed and metro services in several areas shut down with police saying no rallies were allowed in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Drone cameras have also been deployed at Delhi borders for security surveillance.
#WATCH Haryana: Police use water cannon & tear-gas shells in Karnal to disperse farmers from Punjab heading towards Delhi.
Security increased further at Delhi-Karnal Highway as farmers intensify their protest by trying to break through barricades & move towards Delhi. pic.twitter.com/5xyCelzRWc
“If the government doesn’t want farmers to protest amid the corona pandemic why can’t the government say that it will defer the laws for six months or until the pandemic is over,“ Jagmohan Singh, farmer leader from Punjab, told Al Jazeera. “We will not call off our protest unless the government scraps these anti-farmer laws.”
The idea of the government: the bills passed by India’s parliament in September, make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to private buyers and enter into a contract with private companies. The government hopes private sector investments will stimulate growth.
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