Police impose Sec 144 across Delhi; Farmers to hold talks with ministers today

Police barricades put up at Ghazipur border given farmers' 'Delhi Chalo March', in New Delhi. Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: Delhi Police has imposed Section 144 across the national capital given widespread tension and "social unrest" due to the farmers' Delhi Chalo March on Tuesday. The order will be in place for a month.

The order issued by Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora on Monday prohibited any type of rally or procession and blocking of roads and passages. It has also imposed a ban on tractor rallies trying to cross the borders of the national capital.

Haryana authorities have fortified the state's border with Punjab at many places in Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad and Kurukshetra using concrete blocks, iron nails and barbed wire to scuttle the proposed 'Delhi Chalo' march in which farmers from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are expected to the state capital. 

The Haryana government has also imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC in as many as 15 districts, prohibiting the assembly of five or more people in 15 districts and banning any kind of demonstration or march with tractor-trolley.

Internet services and bulk SMS in seven districts - Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa - have been suspended till February 13. The Haryana Police has issued a traffic advisory, asking commuters to take alternative routes and plan their journey accordingly.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that more than 200 farm unions would head to Delhi on Tuesday to press the Centre to accept several demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Besides the demand on MSP, the farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Union Ministers to hold talks with farmers
A team of three Union ministers - Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai - will hold talks on Monday with a delegation of farmer leaders, who are planning to march towards Delhi. 

The meeting will be held at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration in Sector 26 at 5 pm on Monday. The first meeting of the farmer leaders and the three Union ministers was held on February 8.

Meanwhile, convoys of tractor-trolleys have already set out from different parts of Punjab to join the march. Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher on Monday said a convoy of tractor-trolleys set out in the morning from Beas in Amritsar to assemble in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

Many farmers from Moga, Bathinda and Jalandhar districts have also started from their villages to join the march. SKM (Non-political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said tractor-trolleys will assemble at Fatehgarh Sahib district and Mehlan Chowk in Sangrur on Monday evening.

In 2020, a large number of farmers from Punjab and nearby areas of Ambala gathered at the Shambhu border and broke police barriers to march towards Delhi. The farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, held a year-long protest on Delhi's border points - Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur - against the three now-repealed farm laws.
(With PTI inputs)

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