Farmers standing resolutely in face of Modi govt’s ‘cruelty’: Rahul

Haryana Police used water cannons and teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers from Punjab marching towards Delhi to protest the Centre’s farm laws

By   |  Published: 26th Nov 2020  6:17 pm
Police block a road and use a water cannon to disperse farmers marching to New Delhi on Wednesday. -Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Farmers are standing resolutely in the face of “cruelty”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday as he hit out at the Modi government after Haryana Police used water cannons and teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers from Punjab marching towards Delhi to protest the Centre’s farm laws.

Haryana has completely sealed its borders with Punjab to prevent farmers from entering the state. Multi-level barricading has been put in many places. Tension spiralled at the Shambhu interstate border in Haryana on Thursday as police used water cannons and teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers from Punjab who broke barricades, throwing some into the river, determined to enter the state as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.

Sharing a video of the incident, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “The country’s farmers are standing resolutely in the face of Modi government’s cruelty against them.” He also shared a verse in Hindi lauding the courage of the farmers protesting the farm laws.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Twitter, “Instead of listening to the voice of farmers protesting against the laws that snatch the minimum support price from them, the BJP government attacks them with water in this cold.” “Everything is being taken away from farmers and banks, loan waivers, airports, railway stations are being distributed to the capitalists,” she alleged in her tweet in Hindi.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hit out at the central and Haryana governments, asking what message does Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister M L Khattar want to give by pitting soldiers in front of farmers.

“They are conspiring to push the country into civil war and that too on the occasion of Constitution Day,” Surjewala alleged in a tweet in Hindi.

As farmers and police in Haryana faced off at a bridge with the Ghaggar river flowing below, tractors and trucks were lined up and people could be seen waving black flags and shouting slogans.

The BJP government in Haryana had earlier said it will seal its borders with Punjab on November 26-27 in view of the farmers’ march to Delhi. Delhi Police on Wednesday said it had rejected requests from various farmer organisations to protest in the national capital on November 26 and 27.

A day earlier, it had said that legal action would be taken against the protesting farmers if they come to the city for any gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, have announced they will go to Delhi through several routes — Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa.

Punjab farmers are demanding the repeal of the new farm laws,, which they should be replaced with another set of laws framed after wider consultation with stakeholders. They also want a guarantee on the minimum support prices (MSP).