A group of farmers from Punjab who were on their way to Delhi to protest against the contentious farm laws passed by the Centre had to face water cannons and tear gas when some of them tried to jump barricades erected by Haryana Police.
At the Punjab-Harayana border at Shambhu, Haryana Police restricted farmers from entering the state. The police had to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd which was adamant on continuing its journey to Delhi through Haryana. The situation became tense after the protesting farmers threw the police barricades into the Ghaggar river.
“It is condemnable that Haryana Police is using such measures to suppress an assembly of peaceful protesters. We are protesting in a peaceful manner, but they want to prevent us from using our democratic right to protest,” a protesting farmer said.
Earlier on Wednesday, a large group of Haryana farmers near Mohra village in Ambala jumped over the barricades following which the police resorted to the use of water cannon against them.
A splinter group had, however, managed to proceed to Tiyora-Tiyori village on the Ambala-Kurukshetra border, where police again used water cannons to stop their march to Delhi.
This group of Haryana farmers, which was being led by state BKU chief Gurnam Singh Charuni, had reached Karnal as part of their march to Delhi.
Haryana Police seals border, Delhi Police denies permission for protest
Haryana on Thursday completely sealed its borders with Punjab as farmers from the adjoining state started assembling in big numbers as part of the Delhi Chalo march.
The BJP government in Haryana had earlier said it will seal its borders with Punjab on November 26-27 in view of the farmers’ march to Delhi.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday asserted that it had rejected requests received from various farmer organisations to protest in the national capital against the Centre’s new farm laws on November 26 and 27. A day earlier, it had said that legal action would be taken against the protesting farmers if they come to the city for any gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Punjab CM criticises Haryana Police’s action
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has criticised the use of brutal force against farmers by Haryana police. He said it was a “sad irony on Constitution Day”.
He tweeted: “It is a sad irony that on Constitution Day, 2020, the constitutional right of farmers (to protest peacefully) is being oppressed in this manner. Let them pass ML Khattar ji, don’t push them to the brink. Let them take their voice to Delhi peacefully.”
He added that the use of “brute force” was “totally undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
He said: “For nearly 2 months farmers have been protesting peacefully in Punjab without any problem. Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don’t the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway? @mlkhattar.”
Yogendra Yadav takes a dig at Haryana govt
Farmer leader and Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, detained by the Haryana Police at Gurugram, also took a dig at the BJP government in Haryana.
He said: “Three days ago, Dushyant Chautala rallied thousands of farmers. No mask. No social distancing. Then there is no pandemic. Bihar election-no pandemic. When farmers gather, then there is a pandemic. This must be a very strange disease.”
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