The security at various border points around Delhi has been scaled up due to the farmers’ call to intensify their protests against the Centre’s three new agriculture laws. According to a senior police officer, the security arrangements have been tightened at the Chilla border between Delhi and Noida that include multi-layered barricades, jersey barriers, and additional security personnel deployed to ensure law and order.
The farmer union leaders have threatened to block this critical area completely. The farmers, acting on the same, have hardened their stance and blocked the Noida Link Road causing heavy traffic jams at the Delhi Noida Direct Flyway (DND) to Ashram Chowk. The Delhi Traffic Police had also informed commuters of the Sidhu, Auchandi, Sabholi, Piau Maniyari, Ghazipur, Tikri, Dhansa and Mangesh borders due to protests.
The farmers are determined to “make” the government repeal the new legislations and asserted that their fight had reached the juncture of no turning back without securing a win. The farmer union leaders have made it clear that they are open for negotiations, provided that the government agrees to their demands and come forward with concrete proposals. Thousands of farmers have joined the protests and have been camping at various Delhi borders for 21 days on the trot.
In September, the government had issued the three agriculture laws to act as significant reforms in the agriculture sector, removing the middlemen, thereby allowing farmers to sell their products anywhere in the country. But the laws have been met with vehement objections as the farmers have expressed apprehension that the reforms would lead to the elimination of the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and do away with mandis, making them vulnerable and exposed to the big corporates.
The government has asked the farmer union leaders to reconsider the proposals for the amendment of the laws to address their concerns. In contrast, the farmers have further announced that they would block railway tracks across India if their demands are not fulfilled.