‘Heavy police force in Delhi confirms our stir is nationwide’, says farmers

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher claimed nearly 100 farmers had been detained in parts of Rajasthan when they were on their way to Delhi.

Chandigarh: The Centre, by deploying heavy force in and around Delhi to prevent the farmers from reaching the national capital, has accepted the ongoing stir is now countrywide, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher on Wednesday.

Pandher also claimed that nearly 100 farmers had been detained in parts of Rajasthan when they were on their way to Delhi.

“By deploying heavy force in Delhi, the government has accepted this agitation is now countrywide and not limited to Punjab and Haryana,” Pandher told reporters at the Shambhu border protest site near Ambala on the Punjab-Haryana border.

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Farmer leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal had on Sunday given a call to the farmers across the nation to reach Delhi on March 6 for a protest while they had also given a four-hour ‘rail roko’ countrywide call for March 10 in support of their various demands.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) are spearheading the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by the farmers to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the crops.

Both forums decided that while the farmers from Punjab and Haryana will continue to support the ongoing agitation at Shambhu and Khanauri border points, the farmers and farm labourers from other states should reach Delhi on March 6 for a protest in the national capital in support of the farmers’ demands.

“We had taken a decision that farmers from far off states can reach through train or other means and sit on a protest at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The government kept saying that this agitation is limited to Punjab. We want to ask why then prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed at the Jantar Mantar and some other parts of Delhi. Why so much barricading is there on Tikri and Singhu borders? This means that the Centre has accepted this agitation is not of Punjab and Haryana alone, but countrywide,” Pandher said.

“That is why they deployed so much force and imposed prohibitory orders. And they have also said they will not allow the farmers to enter Delhi,” he added.

Pandher said that on March 8 on the occasion of International Women’s Day, they will celebrate on both the Shambhu and Khanauri border points in which the women farmers in large numbers will take part.

About their ongoing stir in support of various demands, he said that various Khap Panchayats of Haryana have also given their support to them.

About their call for farmers from other than Punjab and Haryana to reach Delhi, Pandher said, “A few of our colleagues from Firozabad, UP, have succeeded in reaching Jantar Mantar. We are yet to get further details.”

However, he claimed that about 100 farmers were detained by the police at least in two parts of Rajasthan including one group which was coming by train to Delhi.

Social media handles of more than 100 farmers have been withheld, Pandher said.

There are many farmers, who have started from eastern, central and southern parts of the country today and will be reaching Delhi in the next few days if they are not detained by the authorities, he said.

In Lakhimpur Kheri, the police is trying to ensure no farmers move towards Delhi from there, Pandher alleged.

He confirmed the ‘rail roko’ will be held in all districts of Punjab on March 10.

“During this, I will be present in Amritsar, Pandher said.

“We want to tell the Modi government that we are sitting peacefully at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points as both places are barricaded and we have been denied permission to go ahead. But why are the people of Delhi and adjoining places being harassed? In the name of farmers, for how long will the government harass the citizens of Delhi,” he said.

The protesting farmers have been staying put at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana after their “Delhi Chalo” march was stopped by the security forces.

They began their march on February 13 but were stopped by the security forces, which led to clashes at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points on the Haryana-Punjab border.

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