Dramatic visuals of farmers protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border show thousands of farmers carrying sticks and swords and throwing barricades into a river as they tried to force their way through for a protest march in Delhi. Tear gas shells and water cannons were used to push back the farmers, who temporarily retreated but came back in larger numbers to clash with the police.
Farmers were also seen throwing stones on a bridge where the protesters clashed with the police. The protesters refused to move back from the bridge that would take them towards Haryana on their way to the capital.
Farmers from six states – Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala and Punjab – have been planning the protests for two months, after the centre cleared three laws meant to bring reforms and improve farmers’ earnings by allowing them to sell their produce in the commercial market, anywhere in the country.
Haryana, to stop the farmers from proceeding, had sealed borders with Punjab yesterday on Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s orders. Barricades, water cannons and riot vehicles were kept ready to push back the protesters. Prohibitory orders banning large gatherings are in place in the state.
Last night, Haryana police used water cannons at least twice, in the freezing cold, to disperse protesting farmers and stop them from going to Delhi. But that failed to stop the protesters, who marched on.