As farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh embark on their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march today, February 13 the security measures in and around Delhi have been significantly ramped up.
Authorities have taken extensive steps to fortify the borders with concrete blocks, barbed wires, and road spike barriers to prevent the influx of protesting farmers into the national capital.
The Delhi Police has imposed Section 144 across the entire city, prohibiting any form of rally or procession, as well as the blocking of roads and passages. This order is set to remain in force for a month, until March 12.
In addition to these measures, traffic restrictions have been put in place at key border points such as Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri, which have been further strengthened with iron nails and barricades to deter vehicles carrying protesters.
In anticipation of potential unrest, the Haryana government has suspended mobile internet services in several districts until the end of the day, while both Haryana and Rajasthan have sealed their borders with Punjab. The Delhi Traffic Police have issued advisories suggesting alternative routes for commuters to avoid the Gazipur border area.
The farmers’ protest, dubbed Farmers Protest 2.0, is a continuation of previous demonstrations, with the agitators demanding a range of measures from the Central government to ensure the financial viability of farming. These include the enactment of a legally bound Minimum Support Price Law and justice for the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, among other demands.
With the elections only a few weeks away, the farmers, who represent a significant voter base, are also calling for a national strike on Friday. The government’s response to this protest could be crucial in the lead-up to the polls. As the situation unfolds, the central government has invited farmer leaders for talks in an attempt to address their concerns and find a resolution.
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