Peasants protest: Haryana police say more than 60,000 at borders, unsustainable situation

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |

Updated: December 15, 2020 3:58:32 pm

Contacted, Harjana DGP Manoj Yadava said, “We have made preparations that if we need to seal the borders, we will be able to do it. So far borders have not been sealed to avoid inconvenience for commuters.”

With the number of protesters at Delhi’s borders growing by the day, senior officers in Haryana Police said the borders cannot catch more people as “the situation is becoming increasingly unsustainable”. Haryana Police said more than 60,000 protesters were camping at the borders, while peasant leaders said the figure was higher. In addition to remote areas of Punjab, peasants arrived from Haryana, parliament, UP and other regions to join the protest.

To curb further movement, police installed nakas (checkpoints) at the borders of Punjab and Haryana. “The idea is that people feel that there is a police presence at the borders to minimize movement of protesters,” Hariana police said.

Contacted, Harjana DGP Manoj Yadava said, “We have made preparations that if we need to seal the borders, we will be able to do it. So far borders have not been sealed to avoid inconvenience to commuters.”

Two national highways, Delhi-Ambala and Delhi-Hisar, are blocked and anyone who wants to enter Delhi has to travel several kilometers by connecting roads through villages.

Read | Govt open to talks but not to repeal laws; farmers stage a hunger strike

An official requesting anonymity further said: “We are in contact with peasant leaders, urging them not to increase the number of protesters at Delhi borders. If any major development takes place, we will reason and negotiate with them and try to stop them if necessary. We called on the Punjab government not to send more people to the borders … With the winter on, we will try to ensure that the numbers do not grow again.The situation is becoming increasingly unsustainable, more than 30-40 people have been hospitalized for various diseases . “

On the other hand, farmers at Singhu border said they will not give up unless the farm laws are repealed. “Fateh karke hi jayenge (We will return only after winning the battle),” said Puran Singh, who traveled 520 km from Bachivind village at the Atari border from Punjab to Singhu. His tractor was part of a cavalcade of 100 tractor trolleys arriving from Punjab villages.

“If these laws are introduced, we will become workers in our own fields. So far we are living according to our choice … We have brought food for six months to continue our unrest, we will not return empty handed, ”Singh added.

Also Read | Under Singhu shadow, Tikri protest is also growing

Many of them believe that companies will seize their land if the laws are introduced. “Introduction of these laws has hurt us,” said Malkiyat Singh, a resident of Kalan village (Tarn Taran). Another farmer from the same region, Sucha Singh, added, “Our ancestors made many sacrifices for the freedom of our country. Now we are ready for any sacrifice to save our country. If necessary, the next generation will also sacrifice the cause.”

Pargat Singh Jamarai, head of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, told The Indian Express that the unrest will intensify if the “anti-culturalists” laws are not repealed soon. He also urged authorities to arrange more mobile toilets at the borders, saying lack of facilities has become a major problem: “Mobile toilets arranged by Haryana and Delhi authorities have become dysfunctional if there is a lack of regular cleaning.” The Indian Express found malfunctioning toilets near the protest site.

A senior official in the Haryana government said more than 300 toilets had been arranged at the borders, in addition to deployment of safai karamcharis there. However, the officer acknowledged that a lack of sanitation and water supply is a problem.

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