Haryana Government Intensifies Measures to Thwart Farmers’ March to Delhi

Haryana Government

In a bid to impede the anticipated farmers’ march to Delhi on 13th February, the Haryana government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar from the BJP, has rolled out extensive measures, triggering heightened tensions along the Haryana-Punjab border.

The move comes amid echoes of the 2020 Farmers’ Protest, with farmers mobilizing once again to press the central government to address a range of grievances. To counter this mobilization, the Haryana government has employed stringent tactics, including placing cement barricades on roads, embedding iron nails, and suspending internet and bulk SMS services.

Heavy police presence, bolstered by riot control forces, has been stationed at the Haryana-Punjab border. The deployment aims to deter farmers from crossing into Haryana en route to Delhi. Notably, Section 144 has been imposed in several districts of Haryana, restricting assembly, and a significant security cordon has been established.

According to farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher, the central government has extended an invitation for discussions on 12th February, ahead of the planned march. Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda, and Nityanand Rai are slated to engage with representatives from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha in Chandigarh.

Despite these dialogues, reports suggest that farmers are resolute in their determination to proceed with the march. Journalist Mandeep Punia alleges intimidation tactics employed by the police in Haryana to dissuade farmers from participating in the movement.

To further stifle communication and coordination among protestors, mobile internet services will remain suspended in seven districts from the 11th to the 13th of February. Additionally, strategic disruptions such as road closures and the digging of riverbeds have been enacted to impede the progress of farmers’ tractor trolleys.

Despite these formidable barriers, farmers are preparing for the march, staging symbolic tractor processions in defiance of the government’s measures. Over 200 farmer unions are expected to converge on Delhi, advocating for various demands, including a statutory guarantee of minimum support prices for crops.

In response to these developments, the Congress party has criticized Prime Minister Modi, accusing the government of authoritarian tactics. Congress spokespersons denounced the government’s actions as an affront to the rights of farmers, urging for meaningful dialogue and resolution of grievances.

As tensions mount and both sides dig in, the stage is set for a potentially contentious showdown between farmers and authorities. With negotiations ongoing and the farmers’ resolve unyielding, the trajectory of the protest and its implications for agricultural policy remains uncertain.


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