The Dilli Chalo march organised by farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand is currently situated at the Nirankari Ground in Burari in Delhi. However, the protestors have requested to move to Jantar Mantar to protest against the three controversial farm laws enacted by the Centre. The Delhi police, and those at the Centre, are wary of such a plan and they have denied permission to the move. Meanwhile, many protestors at the Singhu border have decided to stay there. They have declared that they are unwilling to return to their homeland until a decision has been taken on the three farm laws.
While there has been some “concession” from the Centre by allowing protestors to move to Nirankari ground, the situation is yet to be defused. Hundreds of farmers have been detained, and hundreds are still arrested before the protest. The police have also arrested dozens of farmers who had rushed to the Jantar Mantar to protest and denied permission to protest at the Ram Leela ground. This is following the police’s showcasing of extreme measures to prevent the protestors from reaching Delhi.
Haryana’s BJP govt led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had allowed their police to use water cannons and tear gas to prevent the farmers from reaching the Delhi border. They also dug trenches on roads to prevent tractors and other vehicles from the passage. At the same time, the Delhi police resorted to similar tactics as well as using barricades and blocks to stop the movement. When the situation seemed out of control, the Centre deployed paramilitary forces to “defuse” the situation.
The Aam Aadmi Party had denied permission to the police to use the city’s stadiums as temporary jail to detain the protesting farmers. Delhi Home Minister Satyender Singh has said that the farmers, like every Indian, has the constitutional right to protest. Reports indicate that the Centre’s permission of entry to farmers came following the AAP government’s decision. Meanwhile, the Centre has agreed to talk if the protests subsided.
Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar had addressed the media and appealed to the farmers urging them to keep the faith. “We are ready to talk to farmers with an open mind. We have called all the farmers’ organisations on December 3, and we have talked before and are still ready for talks,” he told media. However, the protestors don’t seem too keen on “empty conversations,” seeing how the protest results from such a situation. Meanwhile, the top brass haven’t said anything regarding the events unfolding in the country’s capital.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, stormed towards the national capital after the central government, in September, passed three farm laws in the parliament. These law were introduced to bring specific changes to the farming sector by removing mediators, which allows the farmers to sell their products to any part of the country, aiming to help them in increasing their earnings.
The first farm law is the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020. The second farm law is the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. The third farm law is the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. According to the farmers, these laws will be putting them at risk of being manipulated by big corporations and will drive away their negotiating powers.
On Friday, six stations on Delhi Metro’s Green Line that were closed due to the agitations, have resumed operations and normalcy is expected to return by Saturday. This line passes through the Tikri border, where farmers were seen clashing with the police, with the latter firing tear gas and doing lathi charges on Friday.