Despite heavy security deployment, groups of farmers from Punjab managed to reach near two Delhi borders on Friday morning after breaking police barricades in Haryana as part of their protest march against the Centre’s farm laws.
The farmers are demanding the repeal of the new agri-reform laws, which they claim will lead to will the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.
Here are the live updates:
New Delhi | 3.20 pm
Farmers firm on their demand
The AIKSCC has been doing a live broadcast from the Tikri border point, which is now showing a stream of tractors and cars entering into Delhi, along with the farmers on foot, escorted by police officials.
Ram Kumar is a farmer from Mansa district in Punjab, and is perched on one of the tractors about to enter. “We have been on the road since early yesterday morning and were stopped at barriers 15 times along the way, but finally they had to let us enter,” said Ram Kumar, who is aligned with the Punjab Kisan Union. “We have come prepared to stay here until the Modi government gives in to our demands and repeals these laws. We will not leave until then, no matter what.”
“This is a historic day. The government has bowed to the pressure of the farmers and is allowing them to enter Delhi. All the tactics of obstructing farmers have failed and the Modi government has conceded defeat,” says AIKSCC leader Kiran Kumar Vissa, who is also walking from Tikri border point to the Nirankari ground. “This is the first time in many years that such a large number of farmers along with thousands of tractors have been allowed into Delhi for a sit-in protest,” he said. – Priscilla Jebaraj
Haryana | 3.10 pm
Centre always ready for talks, dialogue would fetch solution: Khattar to farmers
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday sought to assure agitating farmers that the central government is always ready for talks with them and a solution can come out through the dialogue.
Mr. Khattar appealed to farmers to directly talk to the Centre regarding their legitimate issues. The central government is always ready for talks, Khattar said in a tweet.
Mr. Khattar told farmers that the path of stir cannot be a medium for the resolution of problems and asserted that a solution will emerge from talks. – PTI
New Delhi | 3.00 pm
The agreement to allow farmers to protest at the Nirankari grounds in Burari in Delhi was reached after discussions between Home Ministry, Delhi govt and the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leaders at the border point, with the Punjab union leaders who are still enroute to Delhi joining in the consultation via phone, says AIKSCC’s Kavitha Kuruganti. – Priscilla Jebaraj
Uttar Pradesh | 2.50 pm
Farmers stage sit-ins, block roads at some places in UP
The activists of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) blocked the Delhi-Dehradun National Highway at Nawla Kothi in Muzaffarnagar district and also staged sit-ins in Meerut and Baghpat.
Due to heavy deployment of police personnel, however, the situation remained under control as the administrative machinery was already on alert after a call for holding the protests was given by the BKU.
State vice president of BKU Harnam Singh Verma led a protest in Naubasta Kala under Chinhat Police Station area of Lucknow on Friday morning. Mr. Verma said farmers will soon be staging a protest at the Sadar tehsil in support of their demands.
In Baghpat, BKU activists blocked traffic on the Sonipat Highway using tractors and raised slogans against the new farm laws.
New Delhi | 2.45 pm
Protest shifting to Burari
Delhi Police has allowed farmers to protest peacefully at Nirankari Ground in Burari, said Eish Singhal, Delhi Police PRO.
The decision comes after a meeting between senior police officers and farmers union over shifting of protesters to a ground in Burari, said a senior police officer. – Saurabh Trivedi
New Delhi | 2.40 pm
Farmers allowed in Delhi
Delhi Police is now allowing farmers to enter Delhi from Tikri border.
It appears that farmers arriving at the Tikri and Shingu border points are being allowed in by the police and directed to go to the Nirankari grounds in Burari, says AIKSCC’s Kavitha Kuruganti.
However, the farmers groups are still awaiting official word from the govt, she said. – Priscilla Jebaraj
New Delhi | 2.00 pm
Farmers pelt stones, break barricades at Delhi-Haryana Singhu border
Protesting farmers at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border on Friday pelted stones and broke barricades as they clashed with Delhi Police which used tear gas shells to disperse them.
Plumes of smoke were seen as security personnel used multiple rounds of tear gas to disperse the protesting farmers at the Singhu border.
“The farmers are resorting to stone pelting. They have been denied permission and legal action will be taken against them if they still enter or attempt to jump over barricades,” a police official said.
Singhu border is one of the main routes used to access the city from Punjab.
New Delhi | 1.15 pm
Delhi govt refuses permission to convert stadiums into temporary jails
The AAP-led Delhi government denied permission to the Delhi Police to use nine city stadiums as temporary jails to detain protesting farmers, as per an order issued by Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain.
Denying the permission, Mr. Jain said in the order that “to protest peacefully is a constitutional right” and “central government should accept farmers’ demands immediately”.
The Delhi Police is under the ambit of the central government. – Nikhil M. Babu
Punjab | 1.00 pm
Situation getting out of hand, hold talks with farmers immediately: Amarinder to Centre
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the voice of farmers cannot be “muzzled” and asked the BJP-led Centre to hold talks immediately with peasants to defuse the situation.
Singh questioned as to why the Centre was waiting for December 3 for holding talks with farmers when the situation is getting out of control now .
“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders. Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?” said Capt. Singh in a tweet. – PTI
New Delhi | 12.15 pm
Farmers’ protest leads to traffic snarls in Delhi
Vehicles moved bumper-to-bumper on key roads in the city after the Delhi Police closed several border points with Haryana in view of the farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
Dhansa and Jharoda Kalan borders were closed for traffic movement due to the demonstration and commuters were asked to take an alternative route, the Delhi Traffic Police said.
Tikri Border is completely closed for traffic movement by local police. Traffic intending to go towards Haryana is also closed.
Police asked people to totally avoid outer Ring Road, Mukarba Chowk, Grand Trunk Road, NH-44 and Singhu Border as the traffic was very very heavy in this area.
Heightened checking near the Dhaula Kuan police post led to obstruction in traffic in the carriageway from Gurgaon towards Dhaula Kuan. – PTI
New Delhi | 12.10 pm
30 farm bodies part of the protest
Farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, had announced they will go to Delhi through several routes — Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa.
They have been demanding the central government to repeal the new farm laws, which, they said, should be replaced with another set of legislations framed after wider consultation with the stakeholders.
New Delhi | 11.30 am
Entry, exit gates at 6 Delhi Metro stations on Green Line closed
The Delhi Metro announced the closure of exit and entry gates at six metro stations on the Green Line in view of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by farmers.
“Entry & exit gates of Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, Bahadurgarh City, Pandit Shree Ram Sharma, Tikri Border, Tikri Kalan and Ghevra stations on Green Line are now closed,” the DMRC tweeted.
The Delhi Metro authorities had earlier announced that services from neighbouring cities will remain suspended on Friday.
“As advised by Delhi Police, Metro services will be available only from Delhi towards the NCR sections. However, services from the NCR stations towards Delhi will not be available due to security reasons till further notice. However, metro services will be available from Delhi towards the NCR sections,” DMRC had said. – PTI
New Delhi | 11.25 am
We are trying to hold them back without resorting to much force: Police
The Delhi Police have buses, trucks and other large vehicles parked across the road on the border to prevent the agitating farmers from reaching the national Capital seeking roll back of the three controversial farm laws.
“We have also used water cannons and trying to hold them back without resorting to much force,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, West Delhi, Sudesh Ranga, present at the Tikri Border.
Intermittently the police made announcement from the public address system for the farmers to return. As an exigency plan, a large number of private buses were also parked along the road to arrest the agitating farmers and take them to jails. – Ashok Kumar
New Delhi | 11.00 am
Farmers from other States stopped at UP border
Groups of farmers from Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka have been stopped at several points along the Uttar Pradesh border with Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, and are holding road blockade protests there. Other groups are facing police barricades within Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and there are reports of protests in Rohtak after one farmer died during a road accident allegedly caused by the barricades.
Several large convoys, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are nearing the Delhi border. About 3000 vehicles with thousands of farmers have crossed Sapla and are heading towards the Tikriwal border point, according to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an alliance of the various farmers groups participating in the protest. On Friday morning, the alliance wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appealing for farmers to be given a free and safe passage into the capital and to be allotted a space like the Ramlila Maidan to gather and to hold talks with the government. – Priscilla Jebaraj
Delhi | 10.50 am
“I urge the Delhi Govt to deny permission for setting up temporary prisons. The farmer of our country is neither a criminal nor a terrorist. Right to protest peacefully is enshrined in Indian Constitution – Article 19(1) and protests are the hallmark of a free, democratic society,” AAP National Spokesperson Raghav Chadha said in a tweet. – Nikhil M. Babu
Delhi | 10.40 am
Stadiums as jails
Delhi Police has sought permission from Delhi government to use nine stadiums as temporary jails for farmers expected to be arrested during protests, confirmed a senior police officer. – Saurabh Trivedi
Delhi | 10.30 am
Delhi Police fire tear gas
The Delhi Police used tear gas shells to disperse a group of farmers who had reached the Singhu border as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
The shells were fired at the border point which connects Delhi with Haryana.
The police officer said, “We are using tear gas to disperse protesting farmers. We are also informing them that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, any kind of rally and dharna is not allowed.”
“They have been denied permission and legal action will be taken against them if they still try to enter Delhi,” the officer further said.
Security has been strengthened at the border and sand-laden trucks and water cannons have been stationed. Barbed wire is also being used for fencing at the Singhu border to prevent the protesters from entering the city.
Delhi | 10.15 am
Groups of agitating farmers from Punjab reach near Delhi borders
Two groups of farmers from Punjab managed to reach near the Singhu and Tikri borders as Delhi Police fired tear gas shells at them to prevent them from entering the city.
“We will enter Delhi. We will get these anti-farmer laws repealed. We were welcomed at the national capital by tear gas shells lobbed by Delhi police,” said a farmer from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab who was among those who managed to reach near the Singhu border.
According to the group, they had taken night halts at various points and broke the police barriers in Panipat, Haryana, to reach near the Delhi border.
One more group of farmers had reached near Delhi’s Tikri border after entering Haryana from Rohtak district.
A farmer leader leading a group of protesters at Haryana’s border with Punjab in Dabwali, said they will break police barriers later in the day to march ahead.
Karnal | 10.00 am
Delhi Chalo march gets overwhelming response from women
Farmers’ Delhi Chalo protest on Thursday saw an overwhelming response from women as they joined elderly farmers and youth to press the Centre to scrap three farm laws.
Stating that they were ready for a “do or die” battle against the union government, women owing allegiance to various farmers’ outfits braved cold weather to set out for Delhi.
A number of them travelled on tractor trolleys carrying ration and other essentials to participate in the protest.
“We have brought with us enough stocks of ration, quilts, mattresses and other essentials. We are prepared for this ‘do or die’ battle and will rest only when the Modi government rolls back the farm laws,” a 68-year-old woman, who was travelling in a tractor with her family, said. – PTI
Jaipur | 9.30 am
NDA ally Beniwal says Centre should withdraw new farm laws
Hanuman Beniwal. File
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) convenor and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal on Thursday said the Centre should listen to the farmers’ issues and withdraw the recently passed farm laws.
The RLP is an ally of the ruling NDA government at the Centre.
“The central government needs to take back the agricultural bills after hearing the issues of farmers coming to Delhi to protest against the agricultural bills,” Beniwal said in a tweet.
He further said, “Governments of nearby states including Haryana should not adopt any oppressive policy against farmers. If the police and governments adopted oppressive policy against farmers, the RLP will hold demonstrations across the country, including in Rajasthan, in favour of farmers.”
Uttar Pradesh | 9.00 am
BKU decides to join protest
Chaudhary Rakesh Tikait
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), conspicuous by its absence during the protests against farm laws on Thursday, has decided that it will hit the road at 11 a.m. on Friday in support of the country’s farmers.
In an emergency mahapanchayat held in Muzaffarnagar at the residence of senior leader Rakesh Tikait, it was decided that the BKU will lay indefinite siege to national highways in the region. The main protest is expected on the Delhi-Dehradun highway.
“If the country’s farmers can’t be allowed to enter Delhi, the government could send them to Islamabad,” said Mr. Tikait. – Special Correspondent
Delhi | 8.30 am
70 detained for protesting against farm laws
Show of dissent: Farmers protesting against the farm laws at Majnu Ka Tila in New Delhi on Thursday. Sushil Kumar Verma
At least 70 protesters, including seven women, were detained from Jantar Mantar and Majnu Ka Tila when they were trying to stage a protest against the Centre’s farm laws, said a senior police officer on Thursday.
The officer said that the protesters were shifted to a temporary jail in Hari Nagar. They have not been released yet. – Saurabh Trivedi