New Delhi: Security has been beefed up in Delhi with authorities setting up multi-layer barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers at border points to foil the farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march into the national capital on Tuesday, Feb 13. Thousands of farmers have set out for Delhi as part of the march day after talks between farm leaders and the Centre remained inconclusive.
In a bid to foil the protest march, Police and paramilitary personnel in anti-riot gear have been deployed in strength at the three border points of the national capital -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur. Sources said that makeshift jails have been set up at "specific locations" in view of the march.
Delhi Eastern Range's Additional CP Sagar Singh Kalsi said that they have made very strict arrangements regarding the 'Delhi Chalo' march called by farmer organisations. “Our aim is to stop the farmers peacefully and the common people do not face any inconvenience due to traffic. We are trying our best to deal with this situation peacefully," he said.
The Delhi Police personnel along with multi-layer barricades were deployed at key locations including the ITO intersection even as section 144 CrPC has also been imposed, in view of farmers' protest march to Delhi. The Delhi police personnel were also deployed at Delhi-UP Apsara border as a measure to stop protesting farmers from entering the national capital.
In view of the restrictions and barricading of roads, traffic snarls were seen on the highway from Gurugram towards Delhi as police placed concrete slabs on the road as a part of measures to stop farmers from marching to Delhi. Meanwhile the Delhi Government has rejected the central government's proposal to convert Bawana Stadium into a jail in view of the farmers' march to Delhi today.
On the Centre's proposal, Delhi Government Home Minister Kailash Gehlot said, "The demands of the farmers are genuine. It is the constitutional right of every citizen to make a peaceful protest. It is therefore incorrect to arrest the farmers..." The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that farmers will 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.
The farmers began their march early on Tuesday after a five-hour meeting in Chandigarh with two Union ministers over their demands remained inconclusive. Farm leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said the government is not serious about any of their demands. “We don't think they want to fulfill our demands on Tuesday, we will march towards Delhi at 10 am," he told reporters after the meeting ended late on Monday.
According to orders issued by Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora, prior permission is required from the authorities concerned for congregations and processions related to weddings, funerals and other religious functions. The police have also sealed rural roads bordering Haryana to stop the protesters from moving ahead to enter Delhi. Ahead of the farmers' protest march, the Delhi Police on Monday issued a traffic advisory in view of the proposed march, alerting commuters about restrictions on the movement of vehicles at the three border points. The police have asked interstate buses intending to move towards Sonipat, Panipat and Karnal, among others, via National Highway 44 to take the ISBT to Majnu ka Tilla to Signature Bridge to Khajuri Chowk to Loni Border to KMP via Khekra, according to the advisory.
Likewise, heavy goods vehicles moving towards Sonipat, Panipat and Karnal, among others, via National Highway 44 have been asked to take the second exit at the DSIIDC intersection to the Harish Chander Hospital crossing to the Bawana Road crossing to Bawana Chowk to Bawana-Auchandi Road, reaching the Auchandi border to KMP via Saidpur Chowki.
"The heavy goods vehicles intending to go towards Bahadurgarh and Rohtak, etc, are suggested to take Outer Ring Road from Mukarba Chowk to Madhuban Chowk to Bhagwan Mahavir Road to Rithala to Pansali Chowk to Helipad to UER-II to Kanjhawala Road-Karala T-Point-Kanjhawala Chowk to Jaunti Village to Jaunti Border/Nizampur Border and enter in Haryana village Bamnoli and may go further go via Nahra-Nahari road to Bahadurgarh road," the advisory stated.
Cars and light goods vehicles intending to travel to Sonipat, Panipat and Karnal via National Highway 44 have been asked to take the first exit at the Alipur cut to Shani Mandir to Palla Bakhtawarpur Road Y-Point to the Dahisara Village Road two-lane stretch to MCD toll Dahisara to Jatti Kalan Road to Singhu Stadium to PS Kundali, reaching National Highway 44 towards Sonipat in Haryana.
On Monday, the second round of talks between Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda and Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal with the farm leaders was inconclusive. Sources said the farm leaders were adamant on a legal guarantee to MSP for crops, which is one of their key demands. Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are also demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm laborers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act - 2013, withdrawal from the World Trade Organization, and compensation for families of farmers who died during the previous agitation, among others.