Chandigarh/New Delhi: Farmers from Punjab faced water cannons and broke police barriers at the state’s border with Haryana as they pushed towards the national capital Thursday on their Delhi Chalo march against the Centre’s farm laws.
By late evening, a large group of them had reached the road toll plaza at Panipat, about 100 km from Delhi. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Haryana) leader Gurnam Singh said the protesters planned to spend the night there and will resume the march the next morning.
There were traffic snarls during the day at Delhi’s border with police checking vehicles coming in from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Metro services between Delhi and NCR areas were restricted.
Haryana Police chief Manoj Yadava said his force acted with great restraint.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were among the opposition leaders who slammed the Haryana Police action at Shambhu.
Punjab, Haryana CMs
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar exchanged words over Twitter.
The Congress veteran asked Khattar why his government was stopping farmers, and the BJP leader told him to stop inciting them.
Ahead of the protest, Haryana had announced sealing its borders with Punjab to prevent farmers from entering the state on their way to Delhi.
The Delhi Police had also made clear that they had denied permission to the farmer organisations planning to protest in the capital on November 26 and 27.
Reaction of twitterati
Meanwhile, twitterati reacted to the entire development. One of them wrote, “Is this how Modi showers his love on farmers?”.
Another person wrote, “If there is anything in the new agriculture laws that is troubling our farmers then it must be addressed humbly. I stand with the farmers”.
The farmers are demanding the repeal of the new laws which deregulate the sale of agricultural produce.
They say the laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.