Delhi Chalo march: Punjab farmers face water cannons, push through Haryana barricades

Large group of protesters makes night halt at Panipat, 100 km from Delhi

Tribune News Service
Sangrur/Chandigarh/Ambala, November 26 

Farmers from Punjab faced water cannons and broke police barriers at the state’s border with Haryana as they pushed towards the national capital on Thursday on their “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s farm laws.

By late evening, a large group of them had reached the road toll plaza at Panipat, about 100 km from Delhi. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Haryana) leader Gurnam Singh said the protesters planned to spend the night there and will resume the march the next morning.

There were traffic snarls during the day at Delhi’s border with police checking vehicles coming in from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Metro services between Delhi and NCR areas were restricted.

At the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, police and Punjab farmers in their tractor-trolleys were locked in a confrontation for a couple of hours in the morning.

Police made announcements on loudspeakers asking the farmers assembled on the Punjab side to disperse.

But as protesters tried to push through barricades, the Haryana Police used a water cannon and lobbed teargas shells. Farmers chucked some steel barricades into the Ghaggar river from the bridge where they had been stopped.

Apart from this confrontation in Ambala district, there were face-offs between the protesters and police in Haryana’s Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Fatehabad and Jind districts bordering Congress-run Punjab.

Tension spiralled at the Shambhu interstate border as police used water cannons and teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers from Punjab who broke barricades, throwing some into the river, determined to enter the state.

Haryana Police handled situation with ‘great restraint', says DGP 

The Haryana Police acted with “great restraint” against Punjab-based farmers who broke barricades during their “Delhi Chalo” march to ensure law and order, DGP Manoj Yadava said on Thursday.

He said the farmers took an aggressive stand and tried to disturb law and order by “pelting stones” at police at many places.

Some police personnel sustained injuries and police and private vehicles were damaged, Yadava added.

The Haryana Director General of Police said farmers were marching towards Delhi but police would try to stop them without resorting to force.

The BKU Ekta Ughran in its state committee meeting has announced that they would move for Delhi tomorrow at 11.30 am from Dabwali and Khanauri.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) said “more than 50,000 farmers will be standing at the Delhi border by today evening”.

“The numbers are expected to swell through the night as thousands of tractors and trolleys are carrying farmers, women and children from interior areas of Punjab,” a statement by farmers’ coordination body said.

A large number of farmers marching from grain market in Boha to Delhi for “Delhi Chalo” agitation against three farm laws, entered Haryana by breaking the police barricades at Bahmanwala border.

On reaching the border, the farmers staged a protest and shouted slogans against the Union government for implementing three farm laws and trying to suppress the farmers by further imposing up to Rs 1 crore fine and sentence for stubble burning.

They told the Haryana Police to allow them to go to Delhi, but police did not allow them as they had sealed and barricaded the road, but as farmers outnumbered the Haryana Police personnel deployed there, the farmers broke the barricading and went further towards Delhi.

Karnal: One farmer of Punjab received injury after the police used tear gas and water cannons near Karna Lake.

Farmers broke Behmanwala barrier in Boha area in Mansa district to enter Haryana.

Similarly, farmers entered Hansipur in Haryana by breaking police barricade at Sardulgarh in Mansa district.

Farmers crossed Bastaraa toll plaza and moved towards Panipat.

Punjab farmers are getting ready to cross over to Haryana's Sirsa district near Dabwali town.

After crossing Ambala, the Punjab farmers reached Kurukshetra where the administration had put up barricades and used water cannons to stop the farmers near Tyora village but the angry farmers broke open the barricades and continued their march towards Delhi on Thursday.

Similarly, at the Tukar border of Pehowa in Kurukshetra the Punjab farmers broke open the barricades, throwing some into the Markanda river, to enter Haryana. The police also used water cannons to disperse the farmers but to no avail.

A few protesters and cops were injured in the scuffle as thousands of peasants removed police barricades and heavy concrete boulders blocking their way to Delhi.

The injured were being shifted to hospital in an ambulance. The police have parked trucks in the middle of the highway in another bid to stop farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march.

As farmers and police faced off at a bridge with the Ghaggar river flowing below, tractors and trucks were lined up and people could be seen waving black flags and shouting slogans.

Police made announcements on loudspeakers to ask the farmers assembled on the Punjab side of the border to disperse. As smoke from the teargas clouded the air and uniformed security personnel milled around, people could be seen standing on top of trucks. Television visuals also showed some bricks lying on the road.

Some farmers tried to cross the barricades and remove them and some chucked them into the Ghaggar river. The Shambhu border point is about 200 km from Delhi.

Leaders of All India Kisan Sabha, who have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth movement of farmers from the border, say that there are almost 50,000 farmers at the spot.

Bracing overnight rains and chilly winds, thousands of protesting farmers on Thursday assembled at various places along the Haryana borders in Punjab amid mounting tension.

Karnal: Langar is being served on NH-44 to farmers near Karan lake. Tribune photo

Haryana had completely sealed its borders with Punjab. There was heavy deployment of Haryana police on the borders with Punjab, officials said.

Farmers eating langar. — Tribune Photo

The Haryana Police in adequate strength has also been deployed along the state's borders with Delhi, they said.

Yogendra Yadav detained by the Haryana police at NH 48 expressway, Rativas. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

Farmer bodies said they will hold a dharna wherever stopped from moving towards the National Capital.

The BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) has claimed that over two lakh farmers associated with it will enter Haryana through Khanauri and Dabwali.

Farmers have brought ration, vegetables, wood and other essentials for their march. In view of cold weather conditions, they have stocked quilts, blankets and covered their trolleys with tarpaulin. Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni had said on Wednesday that “even if police use lathis and force, nothing can stop farmers".

In the fight against three farm laws, the farmers “Delhi Chalo” agitation has got overwhelming response from the women, children and youth as large number of them have come out from their houses and are participating in these protests taking place across the state at Haryana borders.

A six-year-old, Shahbaz Singh, of Chak Fatte Singhwala village has also reached at the protest holding farm union flag in his hand. While talking to The Tribune, Shahbaz said Modi government is taking their lands, due to which he has come along with his family to protest against these black Bills and “save our land”. 

Even school going girls wearing jeans and tops with union badge were also spotted at the Dabwali border protest. Even many youngsters were seen carrying flags in their hand and chanting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union government over these three farm laws.

BKU Ekta Ugrahan women wing president Harjinder Kaur Bindu said around 25,000 women are participating in the protest today. “We have run campaign by holding jaggo and mashal marches in 800 villages in the region to encourage women and youth to participate in the protest,” she said.

Food being prepared for farmers, who would be reaching Khanauri. Tribune photo

Videography, including using drone cameras, is being done at the state borders with Punjab and other sensitive points.

Amid the anti-farm law demonstration by several farmers’ outfits, the commuters on Delhi-Gurugram Expressway faced huge traffic snarls throughout the day.

The commuters on National Highway-48 were stuck near the Delhi-Gurugram border on the Expressway as Delhi Police had put up barricades and were checking every vehicle in view of the “Delhi Chalo” call given by the farmers’ bodies protesting the Central farm laws passed by the Parliament in September.

Scores of vehicles were seen lined up from the Delhi-Gurugram border to the Shankar Chowk on the National Highway.

As a precautionary measure, the Haryana Police were also checking every vehicle to prevent the protesters from entering the national capital.

On the other hand, the impact of the agitation by the farmers’ organisations was negligible in Gurugram district as the situation remained peaceful throughout the day, with no untoward incident getting reported from anywhere in the district.

In view of the protests by various farmers’ bodies, the district administration and the Gurugram police had made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order in the district.

Traffic jam at NH-44 near Karan lake on Thursday. — Tribune Photo

The Haryana Police have sealed Shambhu border. — Tribune Photo

Mangwal village farmers leave for Khanauri after an ‘ardas’ at a gurdwara. — Tribune Photo

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