Tribune News Service
Ambala, September 25
An Army cavalcade was blocked and pro-Khalistan slogans were raised during a protest by farmer outfits in Ambala on Friday.
On the Bharat Bandh call given jointly by over 30 organisations, including All-India Farmers Union, Bharatiya Kisan Union and All-India Kisan Mahasangh, to protest against the three contentious agricultural legislations passed by Parliament recently, hundreds of farmers from the district hit the streets to demand the legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP).
- Senior police officers persuaded protesting farmers to allow the Army cavalcade on emergency duty to pass through, but in vain
- So, the police made way for the convoy and let it pass through the wrong side of the highway
- Later, an Army Gypsy was also stopped by the protesters
As hundreds of protesting farmers had gathered on a busy Ambala-Amritsar National Highway-1 here and were holding demonstrations, a cavalcade of Army trucks from Ambala was stopped and not allowed to pass through.
It took senior officers leading the heavy police force in riot gear over an hour to persuade the agitators to allow the Army cavalcade on emergency duty to pass through but in vain. Finally, the police made way for the Army convoy and let it pass through the wrong side of the highway on its forward journey.
Later, an Army Gypsy was also stopped by the protesters. Instead of giving it passage, they shouted pro-Khalistan slogans, forcing the Army vehicle to move back.
The heavy police force deployed in Ambala to check the movement of protesters, however, remained mute spectators.
Before converging on the busy highways passing through here, the groups of agitators held a protest march in the main bazaars and streets of the twin towns to ensure that all shops and commercial establishments, except those dealing with emergency services, were closed for the day.
No sooner did the protesters laid siege to the highways, the movement of vehicular traffic to and fro Ambala was badly hit and long queues of vehicles could be seen on both sides of the highway.
Raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and both local BJP MLAs (Home Minister Anil Vij and Aseem Goel), the protesting farmers alleged that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre was opening up the farm sector to big corporate houses and pushing small and marginal farmers to starvation.
Sensing trouble, the police had blocked the Haryana-Punjab inter-state borders by erecting barricades to stop the protesters from moving ahead since morning.
However, no untoward incident was reported and the situation remained under control in the district.
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