Protests against the Farm laws spread throughout the country as police in BJP ruled states try to stop them

Protests in Kolkata, West Bengal / Source : Express Photo by Partha Paul

What started off a peaceful protest in Punjab and Haryana morphed into a display of violence, spreading all over the country

The “Delhi Chalo” protest farmers have been marching to the national capital since today morning to oppose the farm laws. The farmers are scheduled to reach Delhi through five highways.

The police force in BJP rules states had taken many precautions to maintain the peace in the states that the protesters were going to go through.

The metro service was suspended till 2pm in Delhi at the request of Delhi Police and the Delhi border was barricaded by the police as well. 

The farmers sat on the Delhi-Sirsa highway near Agora town after being stopped by the police. 

The protests that started off peacefully have turned violent. The Delhi Police prepared trucks filled with sand to stop the tractors at the Singhu border. 

The peaceful protests took a violent turn in Ambala as the protesters moved forward,  pushing the barricades away. 

The police used water cannons and tear gas to stop farmers gathered at the Shambhu border near Ambala in Haryana. 

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted saying, “Instead of withdrawing the farm bills (now laws), farmers are being prevented from holding peaceful demonstrations, water cannons are being used on them. Holding peaceful demonstrations is a constitutional right.” 

Farmers entered Haryana after a lot of resistance from the police. The protestors had a massive faceoff, throwing pellets at the Haryana police, police. The protestors entered Haryana with fleets of trucks and a crowd of over 10,000 people. 

In lieu of the protest march, security was deployed at the Rohtak-Jhajjar border. 

Meanwhile in West Bengal, Left and Congress workers blocked the road at the Barasat Champadali intersection in Barasat. CPM workers took out a rally in Kanki, Uttar Dinajpur (West Bengal) in support of the protests all over the country.

There were violent protests by the Congress in Kolkata in support of the all India general strike.

Protests in Barasat, West Bengal / Source: Shashi Ghosh for The Indian Express

There were violent protests by the Congress in Kolkata in support of the all India general strike. Other states like Kerala, Delhi and Odisha also joined Haryana and Punjab farmers in their protest. 

After being stopped in Gurgaon on their way to Delhi, Yogendra Yadav, President of Swaraj India was taken into “preventive custody” along with “10 to 12 others” in Gurgaon. 

Yogendra Yadav Source : Sakshi Dayal /Twitter

The farmers broke police barriers at Shambu in Haryana and crossed the Punjab border after facing much resistance from the police. 

Captain Amarinder Singh, CM of Punjab tweeted saying, “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”

Along with Singh, Rahul Gandhi joined in on Twitter to support the farmer protests saying that they should stand up to the Modi Government.

Congress leader Manish Tiwari tweeted saying, “Our farmers right to peacefully protest has become punishable with water cannons & police deployments under @BJP4India’s rule!Misleading & cheating them since 6yrs,this govt is now resorting to force against them-this is BJP’s way of celebrating #ConstitutionDay!

#FarmersProtest”

The farmers are protesting against the farm laws that were passed earlier this year. These laws emphasise the primary legislative domain of the state on agriculture, agricultural markets and land. The farmers want the minimum support price (MSP) be made a legal provision. 

“We are protesting because the central laws have legal value. The state’s Bills do not have the same legal validity. We will not sit till the time the anti-farmer laws are not revoked or a Bill related to MSP is not passed by the Centre. Agriculture is a state subject and the Centre could not create confusion by passing laws on subjects in state list,” says Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, Bharti Kisan Union (Dakuanda).

By Aatreyee Mohanta | November 26