As the farmers’ protest entered 16th day on Friday (December 11), more farmers from Amritsar started their journey towards Delhi to join thousands of protesters.
According to Kishan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, around 700 tractor trolleys are moving towards Delhi’s Kundli border. So far, they were protesting in Amritsar, and today they decided to move towards the national capital.
“Around 700 tractor trolleys are moving towards Delhi’s Kundli border,” Kishan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee leader SS Pandher was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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The farmers have been protesting against the Centre’s three new farm laws. On Wednesday, they rejected the government’s proposal on amendments and said they would intensify their protest until the laws are repealed.
Farmers worry these laws will eliminate the safety net of MSP and do away with mandis that ensure earning. But the government says the MSP system will continue and the new laws will give farmers more options to sell their crop.
On Thursday, farmer unions threatened to block railway tracks across the country and all highways leading to Delhi if their demands are not met.
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Meanwhile, two senior Delhi Police officers heading security arrangements at Singhu border where thousands of farmers have been camping for two weeks have tested positive for COVID-19, an officer said on Friday.
Both the DCP-rank officers are in isolation, he said.
Hundreds of police personnel have been deployed at the Singhu border point to prevent the protesters, demanding a rollback of the new farm laws, from entering the national capital.
“Two senior police officers deployed at Singhu border tested positive for coronavirus a few days ago. Both of them are currently in isolation,” a senior police officer was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
With thousands of farmers staying put at Delhi borders, several routes in the national capital remained off bounds for commuters on Friday.
The Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter to inform people about road closures and advised them to take alternative routes to avoid inconvenience.
Farmers from different states have been camping at Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Chilla (Delhi-Noida) border points for nearly two weeks now to demand a repeal of the farm laws enacted in September.
In a series of tweets, the Delhi Traffic Police said Tikri and Dhansa borders are closed for traffic movement, while Jhatikara border is open only for two-wheelers and pedestrians.
Those travelling to neighbouring Haryana can take routes via Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders, the police said.
(With inputs from PTI)