Farmers' Delhi March: Delhi Police Rehearses Tear Gas Firing, Section 144 Imposed, Punjab-Haryana Borders Sealed | Details

The farmers are demanding the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Suresh K Pandey/Outlook India
Punjab-Haryana Borders Sealed Ahead of Farmers' March | Photo: Suresh K Pandey/Outlook India

Authorities have arranged to close off the Punjab-Haryana borders in Ambala, Jind, and Fatehabad districts ahead of the farmers' proposed 'Delhi Chalo' march on February 13.

The farmers are demanding the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

The Haryana Police has released a traffic advisory, advising people to restrict their travel on the main roads of the state to essential purposes on February 13, due to possible traffic disturbances on key routes from Haryana to Punjab.

Delhi Police rehearse teargas firing

The Delhi police are conducting exercises to practice firing tear gas shells in case farmers refuse to cease their activities.

According to NDTV, a purported video showed cops lining up and firing teargas shells in an open area in north Delhi.

The drill has caused unease among local residents, with many reporting a burning sensation in their eyes following the exercise.

A local resident told ANI, "I feel a burning sensation in my eye and nose. It seems my eyes and nose have got blocked."

The police in Haryana and Punjab are said to be using tractors to mimic the protests and rehearse their response. A total of 40 tractor rehearsals have been conducted, with 10 in Haryana and 30 in Punjab.

Section 144 imposed

Deuty Commissioner of Delhi police Joy Tikrey in a notification stated, "Information has been received that some farmer organisations have given a call to their supporters to gather/march to Delhi on 13th February for their demands of the law on MSP and others. They are likely to sit at the border of Delhi till their demands are met. In order to avoid any untoward incident and to maintain Law & Order, a precautionary Order of section 144 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, is required to be issued to save the lives and property in the area."

The order is specific to the border between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Gathering of public, entering of trucks and other vehicles and carrying of weapons are prohibited and North East District Police will detain the people not maintaining the orders and they will be punished under section 188 of the IPC.

Panchkula DCP Sumer Singh Pratap told the media that Section 144 has been imposed prohibiting processions, demonstrations, and the carrying of weapons in Panchkula.

Traffic Advisories Issues In Delhi And Haryana

Delhi and Haryana issued traffic advisories in view of the farmers' protest.

According to Delhi Police, traffic restrictions will be imposed at the Singhu border from February 12, 2024, for commercial vehicles and from February 13, 2024 for all types of vehicles. Delhi police on social media platform X shared the alternative routes for the vehicles.

As part of the traffic advisory, the police have recommended different routes for commuters traveling between Chandigarh and Delhi.

The Ghaggar flyover at the Shambhu border is closed, with cemented barricades placed on the road.

The Ghaggar river bed has been dug up to prevent farmers from reaching the highway with their tractors.

The public is advised to travel to Punjab only in urgent situations. The police have instructed senior officers to minimise inconvenience to the public and maintain law and order.

Temporary changes have been made to traffic routes in affected districts, and measures have been taken to ensure smooth traffic flow.

Stringent security measures have been placed for February 13, with checkpoints established at anticipated gathering points for farmers.

The Shambhu border in Ambala, as well as Jind and Fatehabad districts, have been equipped with concrete blocks, barbed wire, sandbags, and barricades.

Despite criticising the Haryana government for sealing the borders, farmers are gearing up for the march to Delhi, gathering essential supplies such as dry ration, cylinders, stoves, utensils, and mattresses.

Tractor trolleys are being prepared for the journey, and in Rajpura, farmers organized a tractor march as part of their preparations. Some farmers have even relocated from their homes in Ambala to evade potential detention by the Haryana police.

Meeting with Centre

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher on Saturday said the Centre has invited them for a meeting to discuss their demands on February 12.

He said three Union ministers -- Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai -- will arrive in Chandigarh on February 12 to hold talks with a deputation of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha.

The meeting will be held at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration in Sector 26 here, a day before the farmers' proposed 'Delhi Chalo' march.

Pandher also shared the letter inviting them to hold the talks in Chandigarh.


Internet suspended ahead of march

The Haryana government on Saturday ordered the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS in seven districts ahead of farmers' proposed 'Delhi Chalo' march on February 13.

According to an official order, the mobile internet services will remain suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts from 6 am on February 11 to 23:59 pm on February 13.

The decision to suspend mobile internet services, bulk SMS and all dongle services was taken as there was an apprehension of disturbance of peace in view of the proposed march.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced the 'Delhi Chalo' march by more than 200 farmers' unions on February 13 to press the Centre for accepting their several demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.