Intensifying their protest against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws, the agitating farmer unions have called for a nationwide ‘chakka jam’ on February 6. However, the farmer leaders have clarified that no farmer will enter Delhi during the three hour blockade in order to avoid clashes with the police, like the one on Republic Day in the national capital.
Recently, during a mahapanchayat, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait garnered the support of farmers from other states, including Punjab and Haryana, for the planned ‘chakka jam’ scheduled between 12pm to 3pm. Farmer leaders held village-level meetings and deputed special security volunteers to avert any clashes with security forces.
“Farmers will block the highways in their respective states and no attempt will be made to enter Delhi. In case anyone gets stuck during the chakka jam, they will be served water and food by the farmers. We will also explain to them the reason behind our protest and what the government is doing with us,” Rakesh Tikait said at the Ghazipur border.
He also assured that no ambulance and fire brigades would be stopped.
The mega rally has been called against the government’s internet ban, as well as in response to Monday’s budget that “ignored” the demands of farmers. The farmers have also sought support from their family and others to block roads peacefully in their home states.
Another farmer leader Lakhbir Singh said, “From the security point of view, farmer leaders as well as volunteers have been visiting all tractor trolleys and tents and telling people to remain non-violent. Volunteers on security duty will remain present at the border points to ensure nobody crosses the line.”
Ahead of the nationwide blockage, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met with home minister Amit Shah and Delhi Police commissioner SN Shrivastava inside the parliament complex to review the security situation in Delhi-NCR.
The Delhi Police have beefed up security with the government keeping additional paramilitary forces at the standby. Currently, over 60 companies (6,000 personnel) of central paramilitary forces are assisting Delhi Police at various border points.
The ongoing farmers’ agitation has entered its 73th day, with the Centre and farmer representatives holding several rounds of dialogue without any breakthrough. While the government insists on the new laws bringing better opportunities for farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture, the protesting farmers are adamant with their demand of repealing the agricultural reforms.