Farmers protesting the three farm laws passed by the central government faced lathi-charge and tear gas at the Haryana-Delhi border on Friday morning as they continued their Dilli Chalo march.
After the face-off with police at multiple places on Thursday, they continued their march on Friday, prompting Delhi Police to enhance security deployment, station sand-laden trucks and use barbed wires and water cannons at the Singhu border to prevent the protesters from reaching the capital.
Delhi Metro services from neighbouring cities also continued to remain suspended to slow their movement.
NDTV quoted a statement by Samyukt Kisan Morcha and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee as saying “more than 50,000 farmers will be standing at the Delhi border by today evening”.
The farmers said though the government might manage to block the roads to stop them from reaching Delhi, they will walk through the farms to reach their destination.
With the Haryana-Delhi border completely sealed, the farmers said they have enough ration and other essential items with them and they will sit on a “dharna” wherever they are stopped by the police.
The Delhi Police has already turned down two separate requests by the farmers to protest in the city because of the Covid-19 guidelines in place.
Earlier on Friday, thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana gathered at Panipat and jointly resumed their march to the national capital on the Dilli Chalo call given by farm unions for an indefinite protest against the farm laws.
The protest has also resulted in a war of words between the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana.
As Haryana beefed up measures to stop the farmers from continuing their protest march, the Punjab chief minister accused his Haryana counterpart of infringing on farmers rights.
The Centre has invited the farmers for a fresh round of talks on December 3. Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government is ready to talk about the “issues and resolve differences”.