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Cops, farmers face off at Jhajjar, Sonepat

Raising ‘Kisan Ekta Zindabad’ slogan, protesters enter Delhi | Some camp at border waiting for others



Ravinder Saini & Mukesh Tandon

Tribune News Service

Jhajjar, November 27

After a face-off with the Jhajjar and Delhi Police for several hours, thousands of farmers from Punjab entered the National Capital on Friday evening. They staged a dharna for more than four hours at the Tikri border in Delhi before moving ahead.

The first face-off took place at the Rohad toll plaza on the Rohtak-Delhi highway on Friday morning when farmers started breaking the barricades earlier in the morning. The police used tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse the farmers, but they did not relent and marched ahead pushing away the heavy posse of force.

Protesters run for cover after tear gas shells were fired. Photo Sumit Tharan

Flashpoints

  • Rohad toll plaza on the Rohtak-Delhi highway
  • HUDA Sector 9 in Jhajjar city
  • Karhans village in Panipat district

  • Haldana border on Panipat-Sonepat border

  • Near Rajiv Gandhi education city, Rai

  • Haryana-Delhi Singhu border

“About 3,000 farmers riding on hundreds of tractor-trolleys reached the toll plaza around 4 am. We requested them to return, but they did not budge and moved ahead after breaking the barricades,” Jhajjar SP Rajesh Duggal said, adding the police handled the situation peacefully.

The farmers again challenged the local police in Sector 9, where tractors and other vehicles were placed on both sides of the road by the police to stop them. The plan, however, didn’t work out.

The farmers made way by removing a boulder and reached the Tikri border in Delhi. They blocked a one-km stretch between the Sector 9 turn and the Tikri border by parking their tractor-trailers on the road. They also blocked the other side of the road so that vehicles coming from the Delhi side could not pass.

The Delhi police, too, lobbed tear gas shells and used water cannons on protesting farmers when the latter forcibly tried to enter the National Capital by removing the barricades.

The protesters staged a dharna for more than four hours at the border after deciding to wait for farmers from Hisar. During the dharna, the protesting farmers not only raised slogans against the Modi government, but also appealed to maintain peace.

It was around 3.15 pm that the Delhi police, which had set up a three-tier security cordon, allowed farmers to enter the National Capital. A wave of happiness erupted among them. They entered Delhi raising the slogan “Kisan Ekta Zindabad”.

Sonepat: The local police’s desperate efforts such as heavy barricading and digging up of roads failed to stop farmers from entering Delhi on Friday. The farmers from Punjab and Haryana reached the Singhu border on the NH-44 after breaching barricades at various places

en route.

A face-off took place at the Singhu border as the protesting farmers resorted to stone-pelting, while the police used tear gas shells to disperse them.

The action started on early Friday morning. The farmers started their protest march towards Delhi from a toll plaza in Panipat. They first broke the barricades of the Panipat police at Karhans village.

On the way ahead, they had a confrontation with the Sonepat police at the Haldana border (Panipat-Sonepat), where the cops had dug up a road and placed barricades. This was no deterrent for them as they kept on marching ahead and reached the Singhu border (Haryana-Delhi).

The Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had sealed the border by placing boulders and barricades, and stationing sand-laden trucks, water cannons and Vajra vans.

Drones were also used to keep a vigil on the movement of the protesters.

The police lobbed tear gas shells on the protesting farmers, who fired back the same shells towards the cops.

After a face-off, the farmers staged a dharna at the Singhu border and decided to camp there for the night.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Haryana) leader Gurnam Singh welcomed farmers from Punjab and urged them to maintain peace. He asked them to follow the lead of Haryana farmers.


SIDELIGHTS

Leaders released

Hisar: Most of the farmer leaders who were arrested from various places across the state three days ago were released from jails on Friday evening. The leaders were leading Haryana farmers in the stir to protest against three farm Acts. Nearly 25 farmers from Hisar district have been released by the police. Similarly, farmer activists from Bhiwani, too, have been released.

Protester dies

Hisar: A farmer protester hailing from Mansa district of Punjab was killed when a truck hit a tractor near Mundhal village on Bhiwani-Delhi road on Friday. The victim has been identified as Tanna Singh. Two others were injured in the incident. A case of causing death due to negligent driving has been registered at Sadar police station, Bhiwani.


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