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Another batch of farmers manages to enter Haryana

“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with the Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders.

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Delhi Tikri Border Farmers

Chandigarh, Nov 27: Bracing tear gas and water cannons, another batch of a large number of protesting farmers from Punjab on Friday breached the massive blockades comprising huge boulders, barbed fence and mounds of earth on the Bathinda-Dabwali road to enter Haryana on their onward march to the national capital.

The farmers were led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta-Ugrahan.

Simultaneously, hundreds of thousands of farmers belonging to the Kisan Sangharsh Committee started their journey from Jandiala in Amritsar district towards Delhi via Haryana.

A day earlier both groups had positioned themselves in their respective areas.

Riding more than 4,000 tractor-trailers and nearly 1,500 buses, besides cars and motorcycles, the farmers, comprising women and children, started marching towards Delhi after breaking barriers at Dabwali and Jind in Haryana.

An advance team of farmers, largely the youth, has been taking the lead of the rally, which is 10-15 km long, to clear the blockades erected by the police to make way for the protesters to move ahead without obstructions.

“We just managed to break a multi-layer police barricade on the border despite the use of water cannons by the Haryana Police,” protester Zile Singh said.

Earlier in the day, a large group of farmers from Punjab and Haryana continued their “Delhi Chalo” march from Panipat and almost reached the national capital. Marching through Haryana where they were joined by an equal number of local farmers.

Amid the protest, ‘langar’ preparations by special committees were underway to feed the scores of farmers.

Expressing solidarity, farmers have got thousands of litres of milk in the morning from Punjab and Haryana villages.

“We have enough ration with us to support the protesters in Delhi at least for two months,” said protester Rajinder Kaur.

A huge contingent of the police comprising the Rapid Action Force has been deployed at all entry points in Haryana, while residents of several towns located along the Punjab-Haryana border faced a harrowing time due to the heavy deployment of the security forces and snapping of the bus services in the past 24 hours.

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.

Farmers protesting against the farm laws have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has once again reiterated that voices of the protesting farmers “cannot be muzzled indefinitely” and the “Centre should initiate talks”.

“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with the Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders.

“Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?” a tweet by Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral quoting Amarinder Singh said.

In a series of tweets, the Chief Minister said the Central government “needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured MSP (minimum support price), which is the basic right of every farmer”.

“If they can give verbal assurance, I fail to understand why they can’t make it a legal obligation of the Government of India.”

“Those claiming it is the Congress that’s instigating the farmers are blind not to see the lakhs of farmers trying to enter Delhi from across the country. It is a fight for their lives and livelihoods and they don’t need any backing or provocation,” the Chief Minister added.

India

‘Jai Hind’, Modi wishes nation on Republic Day

Thereafter, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the 90-minute-long Republic Day parade ceremony.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Jan 26 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended his greetings to the citizens of India as the country marked its 72nd Republic Day.

In a tweet both in English and Hindi, the Prime Minister said: “Wishing all the people of India a Happy Republic Day… Jai Hind.”

On this day in 1950, the Constitution of India came into force.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit the National War Memorial near the India Gate later in the day, from where he will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath.

Thereafter, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the 90-minute-long Republic Day parade ceremony.

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India

Tractor rally: farmers breach Delhi’s Red Fort in huge protest

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Red Fort

Thousands of farmers protesting at agriculture reforms have fought through police barricades and tear gas to enter Delhi’s historic Red Fort complex.

They were on foot and in tractors – part of a huge rally that was planned to coincide with India’s Republic Day.

Many protesters diverted from agreed routes and clashes broke out with police. One protester has died.

Mobile internet services have been suspended in parts of Delhi as security forces scramble to restore order.

The government says the reforms that spurred the protests will liberalise the agriculture sector, but farmers say they will lose income.

Tens of thousands of them have been striking on the outskirts of Delhi since November, demanding the laws be repealed. They rejected a government offer to put the laws on hold last week.

This is one of the longest farmers-led protests India has ever seen, pitting the community against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government.

How did the protests turn violent?

Police agreed to allow Tuesday’s rally after several rounds of talks on the condition that it would not interrupt the annual Republic Day parade, which takes place in central Delhi. They gave farmers specific routes for their rally, which would largely be confined to the outskirts.

But farmers instead converged on the iconic 16th Century fortress. They breached security and clambered onto the walls and domes of the fort, even hoisting flags alongside the national flag.

By Tuesday afternoon, police said they had removed protesting farmers from the Red Fort complex, but the situation remains tense.

“We came here to deliver a message to the Modi government, our job is done. We will go back now,” one protesting farmer told NDTV.

While farmers at several entry points appear to have followed the agreed routes, a section of protesters broke through police barricades earlier in the day.

They marched towards central Delhi, where India’s parliament is located.

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Farmers’ demonstrations in Delhi turn violent as protester clash with the police

Violence broke out in Delhi on Republic Day as protesters in farmers’ tractor rally marched into the national capital, breaking barricades and clashing with the police. The Delhi Police resorted to tear gas shells and lathi-charge to contain the situation. Deviating from the designated route, a section of farmers entered the Red Fort and hoisted flags

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Red Fort Farmers

Violence marred farmers’ tractor rally on Tuesday as protesters clashed with police at multiple places in Delhi and entered the iconic Red Fort.

Protesting farmers deviated from pre-decided routes, which prompted police personnel to resort to lathicharge and tear gas. Many cops were injured in the violence that broke out amid the 72nd Republic Day celebrations in India.

Protesting farmers at Delhi border points clashed with police early Tuesday morning as they broke barricades to force their way into the city much ahead of the time the cops had told them to enter. Thousands of farmers entered Delhi from Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri border points amid heavy deployment of police.

Delhi Police had on Sunday allowed the tractor rally after the annual Republic Day parade. The protesters were told they can’t disrupt the celebrations at Rajpath even as the farmers insisted their parade will be “peaceful”.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November 28, demanding a repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP (minimum support price) and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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