Farmers begin march towards Delhi, Punjab-Haryana borders fortified

Farmers from Punjab on Tuesday morning, 13 February commenced their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to press for their demands, after a meeting with two Union ministers over their demands, including legal guarantee to MSP for crops, remained inconclusive.

The farmers plan to head to Delhi from the Ambala-Shambhu, Khanauri-Jind and the Dabwali borders.

Many farmers along with their tractor trolleys begun the march around 10 am from Fatehgarh Sahib and are moving towards Delhi via Shambhu border. Another group is moving towards the national capital from Mehal Kalan in Sangrur through Khanauri border.

Authorities in Haryana have fortified the state’s borders with Punjab at many places in Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra and Sirsa using concrete blocks, iron nails and barbed wire to scuttle the proposed march.

Riot control vehicles, including water cannons, have also been deployed at many places at Punjab and Haryana borders.

The Haryana government has also imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in as many as 15 districts, prohibiting the assembly of five or more people and banning any kind of demonstration or march with tractor trolleys.

Security in Delhi has been intensified with multi-layer barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers at border points.

On Monday, tractor trolleys set out from different parts of Punjab to join the protest march.

On the tractor trolleys sporting flags of the farm unions, farmers packed essential items, including dry ration, mattresses and utensils, among others.

An excavator was also among the convoy of tractor trolleys, with a farmer in Amritsar saying it would be used to break the barricades.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had announced that farmers would head to Delhi on Tuesday to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops.

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