Local shopkeepers in Delhi’s borders fear losses due to farmers’ protest



Another shopkeeper, Sayyam, said that during the last farmers’ protest, he faced a lot of difficulties while going to his shop.”My grocery shop is located just 100 metres away from Tikri Border Metro Station, but due to heavy security force deployment, I had to take another way to reach my shop for which I had to walk almost two kilometres,” he said.Similarly, near Singhu Border, Dinkar, who runs a grocery shop, said, “If the protest continues for one or two days, we won’t be significantly affected, but if it lasts like the previous one, then the government must tell us where we should go and protest for our problems.”Police stop us from going to our shops and our work comes to a halt. We also have families and children to look after.”However, hawkers who frequent these areas are hoping that their sales will increase.Santosh, who cooks noodles in the Tikri area, said, “During normal days, we are hardly able to earn Rs 200 to 300. But during such protests when people can’t move around much, my sales go up as more people purchase food from us.”Daily commuters between Delhi and Bahadurgarh and Rohtak or those coming from the north part of Haryana, faced massive traffic jams after police put five layers of barricades on the highway.”I was going to ISBT Kashmere Gate to catch a bus for Chandigarh. I had been waiting for more than three hours near the Tikri border. Later, I decided to go by Metro,” a commuter who identified herself as Kirti said.An auto driver said he could not get any passengers since this morning due to the restrictions.”We drive daily to earn a living. Those who are walking are not taking our autorickshaw because the traffic is moving at a snail’s pace,” autorickshaw driver Tej Kumar said.Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been imposed for 30 days until March 12 in the national capital in view of the ‘Delhi Chalo March’ called by farmer outfits. More than 5,000 security personnel have been deployed along the border with other states.Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders, the sites of the 2020–21 sit-in by farmer outfits against the three now-repealed central agri-laws.Multiple-layer security barricades with concrete blocks, spike barriers, barbed wires, and containers have been put on roads to stop the protesting farmers from entering the national capital.The Delhi Chalo March has been called by around 200 farmers’ unions, and a large number of protesters are expected to move towards the national capital on February 13 from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab.The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and others have called the protest to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.



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