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Farmer’s Protest Live Updates: Chakka Jam at Highway Ends, Delhi under Strict Surveillance

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Rakesh Tikait
Rakesh Tikait

In the midst of a high alert in Delhi on Saturday, the three-hour nationwide 'chakka jam'— blockade of national and state highways by farmers was held.

Farmers rallying against the three farm laws enforced by the center in September blocked highways throughout northern India, including the Eastern Peripheral Expressway across Delhi. 30 persons were put into preventive custody in Bengaluru.

 'We won't be returning back until our demands are met' said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, whose emotional outburst after the violence during the Republic Day tractor rally gave a second wind to the protests of farmers  at the Delhi border for more than two months.

Following are the top 10 major points of the whole Chakka Jam:

  • Farmers blocked the Kundli to Palwal highway from the Delhi-Haryana border, but permitted the movement of ambulances and important services. They also blocked the Pathankot-Jammu Highway.

  • General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan of the Bhartiya Kisan Union said they were conducting road blockades at 33 locations in 15 districts, including Punjab's  Barnala, Bathinda and Sangrur.

  • The boundary between Punjab and Haryana was sealed and many inland roads were blocked.

  • Delhi, which saw trouble at a tractor rally on Republic Day, was put under a security blanket. In the Delhi-NCR area, about 50,000 police, paramilitary, and reserve force personnel have been mobilized. Entry to at least 8 Metro stations has been closed since the morning.

  • There was an overwhelming police presence at Delhi's ITO, which saw unrest on Republic Day as a party of farmers made their way to the Red Fort. The police put a vehicle with a water cannon and 'Vajra' which is used as a vehicle for riot control.

  • Tomorrow there will be no road blockades in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand; roads in the rest of the country, except Delhi, will be closed. The explanation is that they can be called to Delhi at any moment, so they are kept on standby,' said Rakesh Tikait, the chief of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.

  • The Congress extended support for the nationwide blockade. 'The national interest is the peaceful satyagraha of annadatas; these three laws are not only harmful to farmers-labourers, but also to the people and the country.  Full help!'  tweeted, Rahul Gandhi.

  • On Saturday, the farmers reiterated that the protest will continue until the farm regulations are revoked. A number of meetings have drawn a blank between the Centre and the leaders of the farmers. The farmers refused the new bid from the Centre to keep the farm laws on hold for 18 months and to begin talks.

  • On its part, the government has made it clear that it would not revoke the laws that have been perceived to be its major ticket reforms in the sector that will increase the income of farmers. The protesting farmers expressed their fear that the legislation would pave the way for the abolition of the system of minimum aid rates, leaving them at the hands of major corporations.

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