Farmers’ Protest: Barricades Broken, Police Fires Tear Gas in Rajasthan
On Thursday, Haryana police charged the farmers and fired tear gas shells after a group broke through barricades in Shahjahanpur in Rajasthan in their attempt to march towards the national capital.
Hundreds of farmers, mainly from Rajasthan and Haryana, have been agitating on the Shahjahanpur border in Alwar district against three contentious farm laws that they say will hurt them. Tensions flared on Thursday when some of them in tractors tried to make their way to neighboring Haryana.
As the group advanced and removed the barricades on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway, the Haryana Police tried to stop them using a water cannon and tear gas even when their leaders urged them not to go to the national capital.
“The Haryana police used mild force to agitate the farmers and also fired half a dozen tear gas projectiles as the farmers tried to enter Haryana,” said Bhiwadi Police Superintendent Ram Murti Joshi.
As farmers from about 25 trucks passed Haryana police barriers, others stayed on the Rajasthan side, police said, according to the PTI news agency. He reported that the leaders of the farmers at the site made it clear that the protesters who made their way to Haryana did not have their consent.
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“Haryana police detained almost 200 farmers sitting in tractor carts,” added Joshi.
Rewari Police Superintendent Abhishek Jorwal told PTI by phone that there were some young men “who came with tractors and went through the barricades.”
“We try to stop and persuade them gently. However, they were very aggressive and turned violent. They didn’t even listen to the farmers’ leaders, ”he added.
Another police officer said the group turned violent and at least one of them tried to drive his tractor recklessly, endangering the lives of police personnel and some others who tried to stop him.
Meanwhile, the farmers’ leaders in Shahjahanpur called for peace in the upheaval.
“We are sitting here in peace and calling on our members not to resort to violence,” said Kisan Mahapanchayat Chairman Rampal Jat. “We have sent some of our members to talk to those who entered Haryana to convince them to come back,” Jat added.
Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal, whose Rashtriya Loktantrik Party resigned from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on December 26 due to new farm laws, said some “over-excited young people” did.
“The Delhi march is not that important because we want to solve the problem through dialogue with the government,” he said.
Thousands of farmers across the country protest against the laws. A large group, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key border points near Delhi since late November.