February 7, 2021 9:01:59 am
The three-hour-long ‘chakka jam’ Saturday saw farmers in Haryana parking their tractor-trolleys in the middle of roads, squatting at the busy intersections and toll plazas and raising slogans against the Centre. Traffic disruptions were witnessed on all major highways, although no major incident of violence was reported till evening as police remained on high alert. The traffic could only resume after 3.30 pm when protestors began lifting the blockade.
The call for the nationwide “chakka jam” from 12 noon to 3 pm was given by the Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farm unions, to register protest against the internet ban in areas near farmers’ agitation sites, alleged harassment by the authorities and other issues.
The road blockades on over 250 sites across Haryana received adequate response with major impact witnessed in Sonipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Kaithal, Fatehabad, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Sirsa, Mahendragarh, Ambala, Hisar, Jind and Palwal districts.
Villagers, farmers and their supporters carrying Kisan Ekta flags and banners started gathering at the busy spots, intersections and toll barriers on highways in the morning, blocking the traffic by 12 noon. “They parked their vehicles and tractors-trolleys, and squatted in the middle of the roads, bringing the traffic to a halt. Diversions and alternate routes were created by the police to let the traffic flow.
Heavy police deployment was made around all such blockade sites from where the vehicular traffic was diverted on alternate routes,” a senior Haryana police officer said.
The district-level factions of BKU and other farmer organisations led the blockades in their respective districts. Farmer union leaders ensured that the Chakka Jam remained peaceful.
“Instructions were given to our supporters not to indulge in any violent act. Also, we had asked our people to monitor and beware of the anti-social elements who could create disruption in the garb of our peaceful protest. We did not stop ambulances, school buses or any other essential service vehicle at any place,” BKU leader Rakesh Bains said.
Another BKU leader, Malkit Singh, said, “Not even a single incident of violence was reported from any place. We have deputed block pradhans and other village level leaders at all major spots to ensure that no violence takes place. We had also issued instructions that nobody should indulge in any argument with the police or commuters. People from all walks of life including traders, shopkeepers, labourers, and professionals participated in our struggle against the three black laws. It is no more a farmers’ agitation. It has become a Jan Andolan, now”.
In Charkhi Dadri, Phogat and Sangwan Khaps participated in the Chakka Jam and on their call, blockades were done at several places on Delhi road, Rohtak Road and Loharu road.
Similarly, Shambhu toll plaza in Ambala was also blocked. Several other prominent roads and spots including Fatehabad’s Lal Batti Chowk, Bhiwani-Hisar highway, KMP highway, Jind-Karnal highway, Hisar-Chandigarh highway, Rohtak-Panipat highway, Rohtak-Jhajjar highway, Sampla-Bahadurgarh highway, Kaithal-Chandigarh, Yamunanagar-Jagadhari and several spots on Ambala-Delhi highway were also blocked.
Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajiv Arora told The Indian Express that “no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state”. He said, “It was only a three hour Chakka Jam and everything went off peacefully. There was no incident of any law and order disruption or any ambulance or any other essential services vehicles getting stuck or blocked by the farmers at any place”.
“We did not get any report of any law and order disruption during Chakka Jam that went off peacefully. Police was deployed across the state at all sensitive locations,” ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk said.
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