Farmers’ attempt to enter Delhi at Shambhu Border escalates

  • Stones pelted at Police
  • Police fire tear gas & rubber bullets
Protesting farmers

New Delhi – In 2021, in opposition to the three agriculture laws enacted by the Union Government, farmer organisations primarily from the States of Punjab and Haryana staged year-long protests along the borders of Delhi. After that the farmers have become aggressive again. Thousands of farmers from the states of Punjab and Haryana once again tried to storm the capital, Delhi, with a major demand for a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (guarantee price). With tractors and trucks in tow, farmers converged at the Delhi border. As they attempted to breach the city limits, a confrontation erupted with the Police at the Shambhu border. The farmers dismantled iron barriers on the flyover at the Shambhu border and hurled them down. Upon being obstructed by law enforcement, they resorted to pelting stones, prompting the Police to respond with tear gas and rubber bullets. Consequently, tension has escalated significantly. The Police have apprehended hundreds of farmers, and tensions persist at the Sindhu and Ghazipur borders as well, where farmers are also seeking entry into Delhi.

1. In Chandigarh, representatives of the Union Government engaged in discussions with representatives from various farmers’ organisations nationwide. Three Union Ministers, including Arjun Munda (Agriculture Minister), Nityanand Rai (Minister of State for Home Affairs of India), and Piyush Goyal (Commerce Minister), participated in these deliberations. However, no resolution was reached, prompting farmers to announce further protests. Additionally, these farmers have called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on 16th February.

2. Following the meeting, Sarwan Singh Pandher, the General Secretary of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti, expressed discontent, stating that the Government’s intention appears to be delaying our agitation. While they remain open to discussions, real willingness is required to address farmers’ demands. If the Government is genuinely committed, it should accede to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) Act and other demands put forth by farmers.

3. Although the ‘Sanyukt Kisan Morcha’ has not officially joined this movement, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, the organisation’s leader, has asserted that 200 farmer organisations from across the country have participated in the ongoing agitation.

Credits : India Today

Section 144 imposed in Delhi

As farmers have converged on the Delhi borders, including Tikri, Singhu, Ghazipur and Noida, the Police have fortified these entry points. Roads leading into Delhi from these borders have been obstructed with concrete blocks, iron barriers, and barbed wire to deter the passage of heavy vehicles. Thousands of Police personnel, along with Rapid Action Forces, have been deployed in the vicinity. A curfew has been enforced under Article 144 in these areas, as well as in the National Capital Region (NCR), prohibiting marches and demonstrations. Furthermore, the entry of heavy vehicles, such as tractors, has been prohibited.

Demands of protesting farmers

A. Legislation establishing a Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be enacted, and the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission should be implemented.

B. Farmers’ loans should be waived off.

C. Charges against farmers who participated in the agitation two years ago should be dropped.

D. Justice should be served to the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

E. A pension of Rs 10,000 per month should be instituted for farmers and farm labourers aged 58 and above.

F. India should withdraw from the World Trade Organisation.

Law and order should not deteriorate during the protest – Punjab and Haryana High Court

Chandigarh – During a hearing of a petition filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court concerning the farmers’ protest, the Court emphasised the importance of maintaining law and order throughout the protest. Additionally, following arguments presented by representatives from both States, the Court has directed the submission of a status report. The petition challenges the State Government’s actions, including road blockades in Haryana and the internet ban.

Editorial Perspective

On duty Police being attacked by pelting stones for halting the protestors indicates that anti-social elements are involved in this agitation.