New Delhi: Farmers with thousands of tractor trolleys on Tuesday began their 'Delhi Chalo' march from Shambhu Border. Massive police force was deployed in the area as protesting farmers moved towards the national capital.
Delhi Police has also imposed a month-long ban on public meetings and tractors and trolleys entering the national capital. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that farmers will head to Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
All the key developments that unfolded on Tuesday:
- 10.39 PM
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a Minimum Support Price for crops, slamming action on the farmers' 'Dilli Chalo' march and accusing the government of trying to "project" division among farmer bodies. It urged all like-minded farmer organisations to unite and take part in the February 16 Gramin Bharat Bandh called by the central trade unions.
- 10.00 PM
The All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) has strongly condemned the steps taken by the Central government to "suppress" the farmers' protest. "All India Forward Bloc strongly condemns the anti-democratic steps taken by the Union government to suppress the protest of the farmers," AIFB general secretary G Devarajan said in a statement. "The Modi government is resorting to extreme measures to crush the farmers' strike by creating a highly volatile and tense situation at the borders of Delhi. The unprecedented deployment of police and paramilitary forces and the use of tear gas shells, water cannons, barricades with concrete blocks and sharp nails to subdue the farmers are highly condemnable measures," he said.
- 8.45 PM
Union Minister Anurag Thakur appealed to the farmer leaders to join the talks. "We constantly say, maintain peace and participate in the discussion. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi can save Naval officers from the death sentence in Qatar and bring them safely to the country, then we can find a solution through talks. Nothing will be achieved by violence or vandalism, it will cause harm to the country, so please continue the talks. I appeal to maintain peace and request the farmer leaders to join the talks," Thakur was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
- 8.22 PM
Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal maintained that what they are saying is not a new demand. "That was a commitment to us by the Centre. We had tried to draw the attention of the government towards those commitments again and again. But the government showed no seriousness to date," Dallewal lamented.
- 7.00 PM
People had to cross the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana on foot on Tuesday as police blocked the movement of vehicles in view of a farmers' march towards the national capital.
- 6.59 PM
The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notices to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Centre. "People have their fundamental rights, balance is necessary and use of force is the last resort," said a bench of Acting Chief Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Lupita Banerjee. The High Court posted the matter for February 15.
- 5.43 PM
Government sources said due to the ongoing farmer protests, fifty per cent less diesel and twenty per cent less gas were able to be dispatched to Punjab.
- 5.31 PM
The Delhi Metro regulated passenger entry and exit at nine stations on Tuesday by shutting some gates in view of the farmers' proposed march to the national capital. The commuters were allowed to enter or exit these stations through other gates. It is understood that the gates have been shut as part of security arrangements as requested by the Delhi Police. The stations where one or more gates are closed are Rajiv Chowk, Mandi House, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, Janpath, Barakhamba Road, Lok Kalyan Marg and Khan Market.
- 5.29 PM
Arun Singh from Uttarakhand, on his way to visit his ailing father at a hospital in New Delhi, was feeling helpless after being stuck for hours in heavy traffic at the Ghazipur border.
- 4.57 PM
"Some elements may seek to defame farmers and take political advantage," Arjun Munda tells news agency PTI.
- 4.50 PM
Union Agricultural Minister Arjun Munda said that the government has accepted most of farmers' demands and it is ready to discuss demands related to the MSP guarantee. "The law on Minimum Support Price (MSP) cannot be brought in a hurry and we need wider consultations with stakeholders," added Arjun Munda.
- 4.27 PM
A group of farmers from Tamil Nadu's Trichy on Tuesday extended support to the ongoing 'Delhi Chalo' march of Punjab farmers. Showing solidarity with the farmers protesting on the Delhi-Haryana border, farmers from Trichy were seen holding human skeletons and lying on the road. Several farmers were seen climbing a mobile phone tower at Trichy to mark their support.
- 4.06 PM
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Tuesday requested Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud to take action against "erring farmers" for trying to enter Delhi forcibly in a bid to create a "nuisance" and disturb the daily life of citizens. In a letter to the CJI, SCBA president Adish C Aggarwala urged him to issue necessary instructions to ensure courts do not pass any adverse orders due to the non-appearance of advocates in any matter listed before them till there are obstacles in the free movement of people on Delhi borders due to the agitation.
- 3.45 PM
Central Delhi has been put under a heavy security cover in view of the farmers' protest, with personnel in anti-riot gear deployed strategically and metal and concrete barricades regulating access to several key roads, causing hardship to commuters. Some entry and exit gates of select Metro stations near important installations in the area have been shut as prohibitory orders remain in force.
- 3.39 PM
After the Shambhu border, Punjab farmers clash with Haryana Police at the Jind border and face tear gas and water cannons.
- 3.35 PM
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the Narendra Modi-led government is stopping the farmers as if a military is coming from a neighbouring country. "It is (Narendra) Modi government's failure. They should have fulfilled farmers' demand for a legal guarantee for MSP. Another demand is the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee formula...Why is the government wasting time? You are stopping them (farmers) as if the military from a neighbouring country is coming in. Their demands should be immediately accepted by the Prime Minister of the country," Owaisi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
- 3.08 PM
Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said that around 10,000 people are at the Shambhu border. "The farmers are maintaining a peaceful situation here and tear gas is being used against us through drones. (Protest) will continue until the government agrees to our demands," Pandher said.
- 3.02 PM
Security agencies deputed to maintain law and order along Delhi’s border with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been put on high alert following intelligence inputs that Khalistani sympathisers may try to create disturbance by taking advantage of the farmers' agitation. “Yes, a high alert has been sounded across Delhi’s border with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. There are all possibilities that Khalistani sympathizers may try to create anarchy and attack security forces. Khalistani elements may try to infiltrate farmers’ protest,” a senior official quoting an intelligence report told ETV Bharat on Tuesday.
- 2.58 PM
The Delhi Airport has advised passengers to use the metro to reach the airport, because of a farmer's protest. An official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said that they have issued an advisory for passengers and added that it was posted on social media. "Please be advised that due to the anticipated farmers’ protest at different Delhi borders starting on 13.02.2024. There will be traffic diversions in effect," read the post.
- 2.54 PM
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee hit out at the BJP over the "brutal assault" on the farmers. "How can our country progress when the farmers are attacked with tear gas shells for fighting for their basic rights? I strongly condemn the brutal assault on our farmers by the BJP. The Central Govt.'s failure to support farmers and labourers, coupled with futile PR stunts, exposes the illusion of 'Viksit Bharat'," Mamata said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Instead of suppressing their protest, BJP must focus on humbling their inflated egos, power-hungry ambitions, and inadequate governance that has harmed our nation. Remember, it's these farmers who sustain us all, including the high and mighty. Let's stand in solidarity with our farmers against the government's brutality (sic)," added Mamata Banerjee.
- 2.42 PM
The historic Red Fort complex in New Delhi has been temporarily closed for visitors due to security reasons, amid a massive deployment of police and paramilitary forces in central Delhi because of the farmers' march. According to a senior Archeological Survey of India official, the iconic Mughal-era monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in old Delhi, was "suddenly sealed" late Monday night "due to security reasons".
- 2.14 PM
Amid multiple rounds of tear gas fired by police, protesting farmers disperse and enter farmland at Shambhu on the Punjab-Haryana border.
- 1.59 PM
Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications, Jairam Ramesh says, "...The Government that confers Bharat Ratna on MS Swaminathan and Chaudhary Charan Singh, the same government does injustice to farmers. Farmer organisations have 3-4 main demands. Their biggest demand is that the Swaminathan formula be implemented...MSP is not 'Modi Selling Price'. MSP is 'Minimum Support Price'..."
- 1.54 PM
On farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march, farmer leader Naresh Tikait says "Protests are underway in the entire country...The government should sit with us and hold discussions and give respect to the farmers. Government should think about this issue and try to solve this..."
- 12.10 PM
Police fire tear gas to disperse protesting farmers at Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border.
- 11.11 AM
Delhi Government has rejected the Centre'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."
- 10.49 AM
Noida, Uttar Pradesh: ADCP, Anil Kumar Yadav says, "...A Traffic plan has been prepared...Drones are also being used. Checking is happening at the Delhi border. Traffic in other parts is normal..."
- 10.45 AM
Delhi Eastern Range's Additional CP Sagar Singh Kalsi says, "We 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..."
- 10.25 AM
Farmers begin their 'Delhi Chalo' march from the Shambhu Border. Heavy police have been deployed at the Shambhu border here as farmers move towards Delhi for their protest demanding a law guaranteeing a Minimum Support Price.
- 9.46 AM
Sarwan Singh Pandher also said, "Congress party does not support us, we consider Congress equally responsible as much as the BJP. These laws were brought by Congress itself...We are not in favour of anyone, we raise the voice of farmers."
- 9.35 AM
Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher while talking to the media in Fatehgarh Sahib said, "We tried to find a solution so that we do not have to stand against the Govt. We were expecting that we would be given something. In the 5-hour-long meeting yesterday, we put forward the situation of Haryana. The people of Punjab and Haryana are being tortured. It seems that both these states are not a part of India anymore, they are being treated as International border."
- 8.45 AM
Massive security arrangements have been put in place on the borders of the national capital given the 'Delhi Chalo' protest by farmers on Tuesday. Heavy police have been deployed in Bahadurgarh ahead of the farmers' protest today.
- 7.30 AM
Security heightened at Delhi borders in view of the march declared by farmers towards the National Capital today.
- 6.55 AM
After the meeting between the farmer union leaders and the government ended in a stalemate with no common ground in sight, Union Minister Arjun Munda on Monday said he remains hopeful of a breakthrough, adding that the Centre wants to arrive at a resolution through dialogue.
- 6.35 AM
Security measures have been intensified at the Delhi borders in anticipation of the scheduled 'Delhi Chalo' March by farmers on February 13. At Delhi's Jharoda border, barricades and barbed wires have been erected, and similar arrangements are observed at the Singhu border with rows of barricades lining the road. Section 144 has also been imposed in the entire city of Delhi for the next 30 days ahead of the 'Delhi Chalo' March.
- 6.20 AM
Haryana police have taken preemptive measures, raising several checkposts strategically, deploying 11 paramilitary companies and imposing Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Sirsa.
- 6.15 AM
"We do not think the government is serious about any of our demands. We do not think they want to fulfil our demands... Tomorrow, we will march towards Delhi at 10 am," farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said after the meeting with the union ministers concluded.
- 6.10 AM
A day ahead of the 'Delhi Chalo' protest by farmers over their demands, a team of union ministers held talks with them in Chandigarh with measures taken by Haryana and Delhi Police to prevent assembly of people and maintain law and order.
- 6.05 AM
The government, in connection with the Bharat Bandh call by farmers on February 13, has reportedly arrested several farmer leaders across different states, according to Hannan Mollah, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM).