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Haryana VS Punjab Police Over 'Modified' JCBs Brought In By Farmers At Shambhu Border

In a letter to its Punjab counterpart, the Haryana Police raised concern over earthmovers brought in by farmers at the Shambhu border, saying that the equipment have been further modified/armour-plated to break barricades.

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PTI
Backhoe loader, excavator modified by the farmers to shield from police rubber bullets, during their protest Photo: PTI
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Haryana Police on Tuesday urged its Punjab counterpart to seize bulldozers and other earthmoving equipment from the interstate border where thousands of farmers are camping as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' protest in which they are trying to enter the national capital.

Writing to the Punjab Police a day before the resumption of the farmers' protest, Haryana Police said protesters will use the earthmoving equipment to break barricades, adding that this could pose a threat to the security forces deployed at the border.

Haryana Director General of Police Shatrujeet Kapoor had shot off an urgent communication to his Punjab counterpart Gaurav Yadav.

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Later, in a communication to senior police officers, the Punjab DGP said that no JCBs and other heavy earthmoving equipment should be allowed to reach Khanauri and Shambu border points as inputs indicate that the protesters plan to break barricades and enter Haryana.

'

JCBs Further Modified': Haryana Top Cop To Punjab

The letter written by the Haryana DGP stated that it is reliably learnt that heavy earthmoving equipment, including proclain (digger), JCB etc., that have been further modified/armour-plated have been acquired by protesting farmers and have been deployed at the border locations where the protesters are camping right now."

"These machines are meant to be used by the protesters to damage the barricades thereby posing serious danger to the police and paramilitary forces deployed on duty and are likely to compromise the security scenario in Haryana," news agency PTI cited lines from the letter.

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"In view of this, you are requested to take all necessary steps to immediately seize these machines from the protesting sites at the borders and take all preventive steps so that the proclain/JCB machines and other heavy machinery which may cause harm to security forces are not allowed to reach the protesting sites," it added.

Haryana Police also requested its Punjab counterparts to strictly warn the owners or operators of such equipment to not provide their equipment to the protesting farmers as this would "amount to a criminal act and they would be criminally liable for the same".

"The matter may be dealt (with) on top priority being matter of utmost urgency," the letter stated.

The 'Delhi Chalo' Protest

Scores of farmers are taking part in the 'Delhi Chalo' protest march that began on February 13 and was paused this Sunday after talks with the Centre. On Monday, farmers rejected the Centre's proposal for procuring three pulses, maize and cotton at the minimum support price (MSP) by government agencies for five years and announced that they would resume their march on Wednesday, February 21.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of MSP for crops and a farm loan waiver.

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Inputs indicate plans of the protesters to break the barricades erected by Haryana Police and enter the state, a move which would disturb the law and order situation in both the states, the communication stated.

The protesting farmers have been camping at the Shambhu and Khanauri points on the Punjab and Haryana border since their 'Delhi Chalo' march was stopped by security forces on February 13. The farmers had also clashed with the security personnel at the two border points.

'Withdraw JCB Machines, Or Else...': Haryana Police to Excavator Owners

The Haryana Police on Wednesday asked owners of excavators to withdraw their machines from the protest site, saying that they will be held liable for action otherwise.

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"For owners and operators of Poclains,JCBs: Please do not provide your equipment to the protestors and withdraw them from the protest site if already done, as they may be used to cause harm to security forces," police in a post on X.

It is a non-bailable offence and you may be held criminally liable," the post added.

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