Chaos at Punjab-Haryana border as Khattar Govt uses tear gas, cane to block farmer protests

CHANDIGARH: Several spots along the Punjab-Haryana border witnessed chaotic scenes as the Haryana government tried to disperse farmers trying to reach Delhi from Punjab with tear gas.Farmers demanding a law on Minimum Support Price (MSP) were met with tear gas by the Haryana administration at multiple borders, including Shambhu border and Khanauri border.The farmers alleged that police is firing rubber bullets to disperse them besides tear gas shells. Drones are being used to keep an eye on farmers.Some of the protestors at Shambhu border broke an iron barricade and tried to throw it off the Ghaggar river bridge. They tried to move on with their tractors and JCB machines at the head of queue stretching for a few kilometers. However, police action prevented the convoy from crossing over.A few of the farmers were injured in the melee at the overcrowded barrier stretch. Some took cover under the Shambhu police post of Punjab Police — a makeshift structure.A formation was made by the farmers after repeated unsuccessful attempts to move towards the border were met by tear gas shells lobbed by the police. The farmers’ tractor-trolley queue was up to four kilometers long and they are likely to march forward towards the barricades in this formation with all their might.Haryana farmers who had arrived at Shambhu border on two-wheelers to participate in the protest were detained by Haryana Police. Some were also cane charged.The farmers had decided to head towards Delhi from three borders; Ambala-Shambhu, Khanauri-Jind and the Dabwali border. The Shambhu border is preferred by farmers coming from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar disitrcts of the state. They began their march around 10 am from Fatehgarh Sahib after spending the in their tractor-trolleys and having langar (community meals) in the morning.Khanauri BorderMeanwhile another group moving towards the national capital from Mehal Kalan in Sangrur through the Khanauri border were also met with tear gas.The convoy consists of farmers from the districts of Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Moga, Muktsar, Bathinda and Mansa. “More than 100 tractor-trolley left towards Khanauri border to enter Haryana,’’ said a farmer leader. BKU (Sidhupur) leader Kaka Singh Kotda asked the farmers to stay in the groups and be part of the march.The Haryana Police is making arrangements to deal with the convoys at Kurukshetra and Karnal if the farmers are able to break through the barricading at Ambala.Inspector General of Police (Ambala Range), Sibash Kabiraj said: “We welcome the farmers coming from Punjab but if they travel on tractors, it will create problems for the people. They can travel on buses, trains or on foot. If they come on tractors, we will not allow them.’’Before the start of the march in Fatehgarh Sahib, Sarwan Singh Pandher of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee said that the borders of Punjab and Haryana have been turned into international borders. “We have not said that we will block roads but the government itself has blocked roads for the past two-three days. It does not seem Punjab and Haryana are two states. It seems they have become the international border,’’ he said.

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