News Karnataka
Tuesday, April 23 2024

Farmers to Resume March Despite ‘Ceasefire’, Delhi Border Clampdown

Photo Credit : PTI

New Delhi: Protesting farmers are set to resume their march towards Delhi following a night halt, as they persist in pressing their key demands amidst heightened security measures. After declaring a “ceasefire” last night, they vow to continue their efforts today despite prohibitory orders and a significant deployment of security forces aimed at thwarting any attempt to breach barricades.

Tuesday witnessed scenes reminiscent of the 2020-21 protests, with authorities resorting to tear gas and water cannons to prevent farmers from crossing the Punjab-Haryana border. Reflecting the determination seen during the previous prolonged protests, farmers assert their readiness for a sustained effort, equipped with ample diesel to reach Delhi and provisions to last six months, adamant that they won’t retreat until their demands are addressed.

The farmers’ grievances revolve around a set of demands, with the government having acceded to most but standing firm on three key points: legislation on Minimum Support Price (MSP), farm loan waivers, and the implementation of recommendations from the Swaminathan Commission. Despite the government’s call for further dialogue to break the deadlock, farmers express skepticism, accusing authorities of stalling and showing no genuine intent to address their concerns.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur emphasizes the importance of peaceful dialogue, urging farmers to refrain from violence while extending an invitation for renewed discussions. Meanwhile, security measures around Delhi have been fortified, with concrete barricades and tire deflators deployed, particularly at key border points like Shambhu between Punjab and Haryana, where confrontations unfolded.

Tensions persist not only between farmers and the central government but also between the Centre and the Delhi administration. The proposal to convert a stadium into a holding area for potential protesters entering the city faces opposition from the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government.

In response to the anticipated march, public gatherings are banned throughout Delhi for a month, with strict restrictions on vehicle movements enforced at border points. The resulting traffic chaos yesterday, exacerbated by diversions and heightened security checks, inconvenienced commuters, causing significant delays at various entry points to the city.

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