As the deadlock between farmers and the government over farm bills continues, farmers have threatened to intensify their protest to press on their demands. In view of this, security has been beefed up at various border points by placing multi-layered barricades as the Centre keeps the door for talks open. Farmers have threatened to block the Delhi-Jaipur highway today, and have announced that their leaders will sit on a hunger strike sharing the same stage at the Singhu border. The farmers' protest has entered its 18th day today. More than 50,000 farmers have gathered at various border points of Delhi demanding repeal of the new farm laws. Despite the Centre's assurance to amend the laws in various rounds of talks, the farmers have stuck to their demand of scrapping the new bills.
Also read: Indian farmers to step up protests, reject tweaks on new farm laws
Here are the key highlights of the farmers' protest:
- Farmers have said major highways linking the national capital will be blocked from Sunday and they will sit on a hunger strike on December 14, when they have called for a nationwide protest.
- Adequate arrangements have made and these include multi-layered barricades and deployment of extra personnel. Measures have also been taken to ensure commuters do not face inconvenience at places were protest are being staged, a senior police officer told PTI.
- The Delhi Traffic Police has deployed its personnel across important border points to ensure commuters do not face difficulties and is also constantly updating people about open and closed routes on its Twitter handle.
- Farmer leaders on Wednesday had rejected a government proposal to amend the new agri laws and announced that they would intensify their agitation by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi.
- In a tweet, the Delhi Traffic Police informed commuters about the closure of the Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari and Mangesh borders on Saturday. Since these borders are closed, it suggested that motorists take alternative routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli and Singhu School Toll Tax border. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK Road. So, commuters have been advised to avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road and National Highway-44, the Traffic Police said. Due to the ongoing farmers' protests, it said both the Chilla and the Ghazipur borders are also closed for traffic from Noida and Ghaziabad.
- The Tikri and the Dhansa borders are also closed for traffic movement but the Jhatikara border is open only for two wheelers and pedestrian movement, the traffic police said in another tweet. Those going towards Haryana can take Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders as they are open, the traffic police said.
- The government had asked farmer groups to consider its proposals for amending the laws to address their concerns and said it was open to discussing its offer further whenever the unions want. Farmers' leaders said they would block railway tracks across the country if their demands were not met by the government.
- On Saturday, farmer leaders said they are ready to hold talks with the government, but will first discuss repealing the three new farm laws. They also announced that representatives of their unions would sit on a hunger strike during a nationwide protest on December 14.
- Farmers said that thousands of farmers will start their 'Delhi Chalo' march with their tractors from Rajasthan's Shahjahanpur through the Jaipur-Delhi Highway at 11 am on Sunday. They said their mothers, sisters and daughters will also join them soon, and that arrangements for their stay are being made at the protest sites.
- At least five rounds of formal talks have taken place between the Centre and representatives of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, protesting on various borders of the national capital for over two weeks, but the deadlock has continued with the unions sticking to their main demand for the repeal of the three contentious laws.
With PTI inputs
Also read: 50,000 farmers camp at Delhi borders, more expected to reach ahead of Dec 14 protest