Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 26
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has put the state on high alert---a development that comes hours after clashes broke out between farmer protesters and the Delhi Police during a tractor rally in the national capital.
The chief minister, who also condemned the violence and asked protesters to leave Delhi and return to their protest site, has ordered Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta to ensure law and order in the state remains undisturbed at any cost, a press release said on Tuesday.
Violence broke out in several places in the national capital as farmers defied a preset route for the rally and clashed with police at several places, including ITO, Nangloi Chowk and Murbaka Chowk.
Groups of protesters also breached the Red Fort.
A protester was killed in the chaos at the ITO. Delhi Police claim that he died after his tractor overturned.
The press release quoted the chief minister as saying that farmers should continue their protest as peacefully as they had done in the past few months.
Farmers have been protesting three controversial farm laws that the Parliament passed in September last year. Protests against the three laws---he Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act---escalated in November, when pitched camps on the borders of Delhi demanding a complete repeal of the laws.
Farmers fear that the three laws will weaken the mandi system and leave them open to exploitation to both private and corporate interests. The central government claims they have nothing to worry about.
The deadlock continues despite several rounds of talks between farmer representatives and the central government.
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