Hundreds of farmers protest along Punjab-Haryana border

Chandigarh: Hundreds of farmers from Punjab started gathering on Wednesday morning on the interstate borders along Haryana that has restricted their movement towards national capital Delhi for their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest against the three central farm laws.

As a preventive step, neighboring BJP-ruled Haryana has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent assembly of protesters.

Also, the police had taken nearly 100 farmer leaders from the state into “preventive custody”.

As per the police estimates, around 2,00,000 farmers from Punjab were set to leave for Delhi as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ agitation from November 26.

Farmer body Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) President Balbir Singh Rajewal said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has got sealed the interstate borders for Punjab farmers to prove that “Punjab is not part of India”.

“We will peacefully block the routes to Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. Will start dharna on the roads,” he tweeted.

Rajewal questioned Khattar for refusing to give passage to the farmers to go to the national capital.

The farmers affiliated to 33 organisations are part of the United Farmers Front, an all-India body of over 470 farmer unions that will participate in the indefinite protest in the national capital from November 26.

The protesting farmers have threatened to block all roads to Delhi if they were denied permission to travel towards Delhi.

The Delhi Police asked the farmers not to enter Delhi as they don’t have permission to protest in the city.

The Haryana Police too have issued a travel advisory, asking commuters to avoid certain national highways along the state border with Punjab and Delhi for three days, starting Wednesday, in the wake of the protest.

Road blockades have been put at several places along the state border as per Chief Minister Khattar’s directive to ensure “law and order”, the police said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday welcomed the Centre’s decision to take forward the talks with various farmer organisations on the farm laws issue in Delhi on December 3.

He said the forthcoming talks would pave the way for early redressal of the concerns of the farmers on the Central agricultural laws.

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