The Saturday sun rose as farmers at Delhi’s Singhu and Tikri borders woke up ready to push through another day of protests, and slogans of “black laws” greeted the chilly morning air.
Amid high security arrangements, the sloganeering continued on both the borders — Singhu and Tikri — with thousands of farmers sticking to their demands seeking a rollback of three central government’s farm laws.
Thousands of farmers gathered at the Singhu border held a meeting on Saturday morning amid heavy security presence and decided to continue demonstrating there even after being offered a site in north Delhi to hold their protest.
The farmers are protesting against the farm laws as they feel that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.
A Kishan Ekta group members, who were protesting at the Tikri border, say they could sit in protest for six months if their demands are not fulfilled.
“We have arrangements for food and other things for the next six months. We can easily sit here in protest for months if our demands are not met,” said the group which came from Fatehabad.
Security forces have been kept busy in preparing deployment arrangements with senior officials briefing them on how to handle the situation as the agitation entered the weekend after the marches started on Thursday from Punjab, Haryana and four more states.
With the possibility of more farmers approaching the border and trying to enter the national capital, concrete slabs, concertina wire, trucks filled with sand are still in place.
Edgy policemen have fired teargas rounds on Friday to keep huge throngs of agitating farmers at the Singhu and Tikri borders in a day-long face-off.
Around 50 km, the Tikri border too witnessed a similar clash the whole day on Friday as farmers were targeted with water cannons by police when they attempted to move into the national capital with their trucks and trackers.
The police also blocked farmers’ way through concrete slabs.
Later in the day, Haryana Police had removed all the barricades and allowed the farmers to cross the state peacefully, even as political leaders, including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged the Centre not to be harsh on the agriculture community.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has welcomed the Union government’s decision allowing farmers to enter the national capital and hold peaceful agitation.
Hailing the Centre’s decision to allow the agitating farmers to enter Delhi, he slammed the Haryana government for its continued use of brute force to stop farmers even after the Union government’s conciliatory move.
He also reiterated his appeal to the Centre to initiate immediate talks to address farmers’ concerns on the farm laws and resolve the simmering issue.
Appealing to farmers to end their protest in view of COVID-19 pandemic and winters, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had earlier said the central government is ready to discuss issues related to three agriculture sector laws with the representatives of farmers organisations.
(With agency inputs)
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