With massive deployment of police and paramilitary personnel along with multi-layered barricading, authorities have turned the national capital borders at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur into fortresses to prevent protesting farmers from entering the city during their scheduled ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on Tuesday (February 13).
Over 200 farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, are taking part in the march to press the Centre to accept their demands. The farmers are on their way to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to take part in a protest in Delhi.
The peasants are demanding a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP), one of the conditions they had set when they agreed to withdraw their agitation against the now-repealed farm laws in 2021.
They are also seeking the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, and farm debt waiver. The farmers also want to press the Centre to provide “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Here’s how authorities are preparing for the mega protest.
Traffic diversions and curbs
The Delhi Traffic Police, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), had said diversions and curbs will be put in place from February 12 after farmers’ protests caused huge traffic snarls last Thursday.
Traffic AdvisoryIn view of the proposed farmers’ protest at various borders of Delhi from 13.02.2024, traffic will be affected.
For commercial vehicles, traffic restrictions/diversions will be imposed from 12.02.2024.
— Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) February 11, 2024
According to the advisory, traffic restrictions and diversions will be imposed at Singhu border from February 12 for commercial vehicles and from February 13 for all types of vehicles.
FOR VEHICLES HEADING TOWARDS PANIPAT/KARNAL
Interstate Buses intending to go towards Sonipat, Panipat Karnal etc. via NH-44 have been instructed to take ISBT to Majnu Ka Tilla to Signature Bridge to Khajuri Chowk to Loni Border to KMP via Khekra.
HGVs intending to go towards Sonipat, Panipat, Karnal etc. via NH-44 have been instructed to take Exit No. 2 on NH-44 (DSIIDC) Cut to Harish Chander Hospital Crossing to Bawana road crossing to Bawana Chowk to Bawana-Auchandi Road reachingAuchandi Border to KMP via Saidpur chowki.
DIVERSIONS FROM GAZIPUR BORDER AREA
Vehicles from Delhi heading to Ghaziabad through Gazipur border have been instructed to take Pushta Road in front of Akshardham temple or Patparganj Road/Mother Dairy Road or Chaudhary Charan Singh Marg ISBT Anand Vihar and exit from Maharajpur or Apsara border in UP’s Ghaziabad.
Vehicular traffic going to Haryana through NH-44 may divert towards Dabur Chowka Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad-Hapur Road, GT Road Delhi, Meerut Expressway Dasna and take left turn to Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
DIVERSIONS AROUND TIKRI BORDER AREA (DELHI-HARYANA)
Heavy and Commercial Vehicles or trucks going towards Bahadurgarh, Rohtak etc. via Rohtak Road have been advised to use Najafgarh Nangloi Road from Nangloi Chowk to enter Haryana via Najafgarh Jharoda Borderb.
NOIDA POLICE ISSUES TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS
The Noida police also issued a list of diversions to avoid any chaos.
With traffic restrictions and security measures in place, the motorists had a hard time commuting between Delhi and NCR towns. The Delhi Police has imposed prohibitory orders for a month banning entry of procession of tractors, truck,s or other vehicles in the city.
Preparations at borders
Massive deployment of police and paramilitary personnel besides multi-layered barricading have taken place to seal the national capital borders. The police are also using drones to keep a tight vigil at border points, an official said, adding that they are fully prepared to deal with any law and order situation.
In view of the farmers’ protest and march to Parliament, the Delhi Police started preparations to check the advancing farmers’ march beforehand, an officer said. Multiple layers of barricades with concertina wires, nails, and huge concrete blocks and containers have been placed along the entry points to the national capital.
Huge deployment of paramilitary personnel on Delhi-Rohtak and Delhi-Bahadurgarh roads has taken place. Outer Delhi DCP Jimmy Chiram was seen discussing the arrangements with other personnel. Heavy concrete blocks and razor-sharp wires were used to block roads. Police are using drones to monitor the area.
Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora visited the city’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on Sunday to check the security arrangements. According to an advisory, traffic restrictions have been imposed for commercial vehicles at the Singhu border since Monday. Tuesday onwards, the restrictions apply to all types of vehicles, it said.
The police have deployed more than 5,000 security personnel while cranes and earth movers carrying large containers to block the road were also at work. Multiple security barricades have already been installed at the borders to stop the farmers from entering the national capital. Nails have been erected on roads so that if the protesting farmers try to enter the city on vehicles, their tyres get punctured, the officials said.
A makeshift office has been set up at the Singhu border to keep a round-the-clock vigil on the developing situation. The police have also sealed the rural roads bordering Haryana to stop the protesters from moving ahead to enter Delhi.
According to an order issued by Police Commissioner Sanjay Arore, there will be a complete restriction on the assembly of people, rallies, and entry of tractor-trolleys carrying people. During their protest in 2020, farmers from different states, mainly Punjab, Haryana, and UP, staged sit-ins at three border points – Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur.
Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been enforced in the northeast district of Delhi to maintain law and order.
Riding tractors and other vehicles, the farmers sat at these three border points from August 2020 to December 2021. In 2020, the police had to rush the logistics to check the entry of the farmers moving in procession of tractors.
(With PTI inputs)