Teargas shells fired as Indian farmers’ Delhi Chalo march resumes

NEW DELHI: After four rounds of talks with the Indian government failed to yield any results, protesting Indian farmers mostly from Punjab and Haryana states today resumed their ‘Delhi Chalo’ call from Shambhu border, where they were camping.

Teargas shells were fired from the Haryana side as farmer leaders Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher announced that they would enter Haryana on the way to Delhi.

“We will lead this protest and we will win”, they said as tear gas shells were fired on the farmers, who had reached close to the barricades.

The protesting farmers have repeatedly said that theirs is a peaceful movement, despite fortification by the government. “We appeal to the government to either resolve our issues or remove barricades and allow us to proceed to Delhi to protest peacefully,” Jagjit Singh Dallewal said in a media interview.

The protesting farmers began marching last week but were stopped around 200km from Delhi. Since then, farmer leaders were in talks with the Indian government on their demands. But on Monday night, they said the offer was not in their interest. The farmers’ protest is being spearheaded by the Samuykta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha. They are demanding a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP, one-time debt waiver among others.

The farmers, who had to face teargas firing from drones, concrete barricades, and nails and also pellet gun firing, had put their agitation on hold due to talks with the Indian govt. However, the proposal by New Delhi for a 5-year contractual MSP for three crops and a crop diversification plan failed to cut any ice with the farmers, who rejected it as an eyewash.

Meanwhile, security around the Indian capital was beefed up, especially at the borders in Ghazipur, Noida, Tikri and Singhu – the protest sites of the year-long farmers’ movement that forced the Modi-led government to withdraw the three farm laws.

Delhi Police has already imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 across the capital for a month.


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