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Opinion

Security at Delhi’s Borders Intensifies as Farmers’ Protests Intensify

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On Saturday, Delhi police deployed additional personnel and placed more concrete barriers at various border points in the national capital after farmers announced they will intensify their protest against the Center’s new agricultural laws and block the Delhi-Jaipur highway and the Yamuna highway.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured farmers on Saturday, who have vowed to expand their protests over the new farm laws, that his government was committed to their well-being and that the legislation was aimed at giving them alternative markets to increase incomes. Prime Minister Modi, without referring directly to the agitation of farmers, said that agricultural reforms as part of the government’s efforts are aimed at removing obstacles and that the new laws will also bring technology and investment in the sector. The government, he said, is committed to protecting the interests and well-being of farmers through its policies and actions.

“The reforms will help attract investment in the agricultural sector and benefit farmers. The goal of all government reforms is to make farmers prosper. The new legislation, which was passed in the previous session of Parliament, gives farmers an additional option outside of designated mandi to buy or sell their crops, ”he said at the annual meeting of the industry body FICCI.

“Farmers now have options to sell their mandi crops as well as to third parties. While mandis are being modernized, the digital platform is also available for farmers to buy and sell their products. These efforts are aimed at increasing farmers’ income, ”he said. “All of these efforts are aimed at improving farmers’ income so that they are prosperous. When farmers prosper, the country will prosper. “

Security arrangements

A senior police officer said there have been no protests yet at Delhi’s borders with Gurgaon and at other points along National Highway 8 that connects the national capital with Jaipur. “So far, there are no protests on the Delhi-Gurgaon border. There is no interruption in the movement of traffic. However, we have the appropriate security arrangements to deal with any situation, ”said the officer, according to the PTI news agency.

The surge in security arrangements comes as thousands of farmers have been protesting in various areas on Delhi’s borders for the past 17 days and demanding that the legislation be withdrawn. Police have said they have made adequate arrangements, including multi-layered barricades and deployment of personnel. Officials have said that steps have also been taken to ensure that travelers do not face inconvenience at sites where protests take place.

Read also | How many sacrifices will farmers have to make? Asks Rahul Gandhi.

The events come after farmer leaders on Wednesday rejected a government proposal to amend the new farm laws and announced they would intensify their agitation by blocking the Jaipur-Delhi and Yamuna highways on Saturday.

Social activist Yogendra Yadav, who is part of the ongoing protests, said that farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana are meeting on Saturday and their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march would start on Sunday. “The farmers’ ‘Delhi march’ on the Jaipur-Delhi highway will not start today and will start tomorrow at the Shahjahanpur border. Today, farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana will flock to Kotputli and Behror, ”Yadav tweeted in Hindi.

Read also | ‘Put them behind bars’: peasant leader on ‘antisocial’ elements in uproar

Traffic situation

The Delhi Traffic Police has also deployed its staff through major border points to ensure that travelers do not face difficulties and constantly updates people on open and closed routes on their Twitter account. They informed travelers about the closure of various borders and suggested that motorists take alternative routes. “The borders of Chilla and Gazipur are closed to traffic from Noida and Gaziabad to Delhi due to protests from farmers. People are advised to take an alternative route to reach Delhi through the Anad Vihar, DND, Apsara and bhopra borders. The borders of Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari and Mangesh are closed. Take alternate routes across the toll tax borders of Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli and Singhu schools. Traffic has been diverted from the Mukarba and GTK highway. Please avoid Outer Ring Rd, GTK road, NH 44, ”the department said in a tweet.

“The borders of Tikri, Dhansa are closed for any traffic movement. Jhatikara Borders is open only to two-wheelers and pedestrians. The open borders available for Haryana follow the * Jharoda (single carriageway / single road), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan / Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera Borders borders, ”he added.

Hundreds of farmers in states like Punjab and Haryana have blocked some of the roads leading to Delhi’s borders for more than two weeks against new farm laws that they fear will incite the government to stop making direct purchases of crops at prices. minimums established by the state or minimum support price (MSP). They have vowed to expand their protests across the country until the government scraps the new farm laws. So far, the government has refused to meet their demand, but has promised to continue with MSP-based acquisitions.

The three new laws remove restrictions on the marketing of agricultural products and allow growers to collaborate with private companies to sell their crops. The government says this allows farmers an alternative avenue to sell crops, increase their income, and is aimed at making farming more competitive.

The government had asked farmer groups to consider their proposals to amend the laws to address their concerns and said it was open to discussing their offer further when the unions wanted. Peasant leaders also announced Thursday that they would block train tracks across the country if the government did not comply with their demands and would announce a date for that soon.

The Center and farmer representatives, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have participated in at least five rounds of formal talks, but the stalemate has continued with unions sticking to their main demand for repeal of the three contentious laws. The sixth round of talks between the government and farmers’ union leaders, scheduled for Wednesday morning, was canceled.

(With contributions from the agency)

Hindustan Times

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