Farmers to march to Jantar Mantar today; Delhi under tight security

The Ambala-Chandigarh NH, closed for the last three weeks, was reopened yesterday

PTI03_02_2024_000263A Farmers during their ongoing protest, at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala district | PTI

The farmers, who have been protesting against the Centre seeking various demands for nearly a month, will take out a protest march to Delhi on Wednesday. Their announcement came as authorities reopened the Ambala-Chandigarh national highway on Tuesday, three weeks after it was closed to prevent the entry of protesting farmers from Punjab.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political), spearheading the agitation, called on the farmers from across the country to reach Delhi on Wednesday. They have also called for a four-hour countrywide rail roko on March 10 in support of their various demands, including a legal guarantee on minimum support price for crops.

According to Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) leaders, the sacrifice of a farmer will not go in vain and the struggle will continue until the demands are met. 

Another farmer leader Tejveer Singh confirmed the plan. "Tomorrow, on March 6, farmers from all over India will march peacefully towards Jantar Mantar in Delhi," farmer leader Tejveer Singh told reporters at Shambhu Border on Tuesday. 

He said that farmers from various states made their arrangements for marching to the national capital. "Farmers from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar have made all preparations to move to Delhi for the march," Singh added.

The farmers embarked on a 'Delhi chalo' protest march on February 13  raising various demands, including a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, and no hike in electricity tariffs. Several meetings were held with the government, but no breakthrough has been achieved till now. The farmers have since been camping at multiple points in areas bordering the national capital. 

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at Tikri, Singhu and the Ghazipur borders ahead of the march. 

"We had temporally removed barriers for commuters at the Singhu and the Tikri borders. The deployment of police and paramilitary personnel is still there and (they) will ensure strict, round-the-clock vigil," a senior police officer said.

Additional police and paramilitary forces have already been deployed at railway and metro stations and bus stands. "No one will be allowed to breach the law," the officer said.

Checking will be intensified at different locations and there may be traffic congestion in the city.

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