In anticipation of another farmer agitation on February 13, the Delhi Police enforced section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code at the borders with Uttar Pradesh on Sunday in an effort to prevent any untoward incidents and uphold the law and order.
“Information has been received that some farmer organisations have given a call to their supporters to gather/march to Delhi on 13th February for their demands of the law on MSP and others. They are likely to sit at the border of Delhi till their demands are met. In order to avoid any untoward incident and to maintain Law & Order, a precautionary Order of section 144 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, is required to be issued to save the lives and property in the area,” the Delhi Police said in an order.
According to the order, the gathering of public at all borders between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and nearby areas in the jurisdictional area of north east district will be prohibited.
“Prohibit entering of Tractors, Trolleys, Buses, Trucks, commercial vehicles, personal vehicles, on horses etc, carrying protestors in Delhi from Uttar Pradesh. Order that the North East District Police shall make all efforts to prevent protestors from entering Delhi,” the order stated.
“Order that no person / protestor shall be allowed to bear arms, including firearms, swords, trishul, spears, lathi, rods etc. North East District Police shall make all efforts to detain these persons at the spot. Order that any person found to be acting in contravention to this order shall be liable to be punished under section 188 of the India Penal Code, 1860,” it added.
Elaborate preparations are also being made to close the Punjab-Haryana borders in Ambala, Jind, and Fatehabad districts ahead of the scheduled ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
What is the reason for the farmers’ protest?
Farmers are demanding a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP), one of the conditions they had set when they agreed to withdraw their agitation against the now-repealed farm laws in 2021.
They also want the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations implemented, pensions for farmers and agricultural laborers, farm loan waivers, police charges dropped, and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
In 2020, a big group of farmers from Punjab and the surrounding villages of Ambala assembled at the Shambhu border and burst over police barriers to march to Delhi.
The farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, held a year-long protest on Delhi’s border points – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – against the three now-repealed farm laws.
Earlier, the Haryana government invoked Section 144 in Panchkula, prohibiting processions, demonstrations, and the carrying of weapons, said DCP Sumer Singh Pratap.
The Haryana Police has issued a traffic advisory, urging commuters to limit travel on main roads on February 13 due to anticipated disruptions. Alternative routes have been suggested for commuters travelling between Chandigarh and Delhi to mitigate potential traffic congestion.
Mobile internet services and bulk SMSes have been suspended in seven Haryana districts to prevent the spread of misinformation and maintain public order.
Senior police officials, including Haryana’s DGP and Ambala’s SP, have conducted inspections at border points to assess security arrangements.
At the border with Shambhu, concrete barriers and road restrictions have been installed, and the Ghaggar riverbed has been excavated to make entry more difficult.
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