November 24, 2020 10:44:25 pm
Two days ahead of farmers’ proposed march to the national capital to oppose Centre’s farm laws, the Haryana government Tuesday announced that it will keep the state borders sealed from November 25 to 27. As Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that the “state will take every step required to maintain law and order”, state police planned additional deployment and multi-layer barricading on highways leading in and out of state. Police also issued a detailed advisory urging commuters to modify their travel plans in view of the farmers’ agitation.
“The state government has decided to seal the Haryana-Punjab border on November 25 and 26 and Haryana-Delhi border on November 26 and 27 in view of the proposed call of “Delhi Chalo” given by the farmers. We appeal to the public that on November 25 and 26, they should avoid coming to Haryana and Punjab borders. On November 26 and 27, they should avoid going to the Haryana-Delhi border. We will take every step required to maintain law and order… I appeal to farmers that the Delhi Chalo call given by some outfits has no meaning because the three laws which the Centre enacted are pro-farmer,” Khattar said.
The farmers, however, said that they will start gathering on the Ambala-Delhi highway near Ambala from November 25.
A comprehensive travel advisory issued by the state government on Tuesday mentioned the commuters may face traffic blockages on roads at entry points from Punjab into Haryana on November 25 and November 26 and on entry points from Haryana into Delhi on November 26 and November 27. Officials said strictness along the borders with Punjab will be imposed for three days beginning Wednesday.
Haryana Police said that it has information that a large number of protestors are likely to enter Haryana from Punjab side through various border entry points, for onward journey towards Delhi. Apart from this the main focus points of the protestors originating from within Haryana will be the four major National Highways leading towards Delhi – Ambala-Delhi, Hisar-Delhi, Rewari-Delhi and Palwal-Delhi.
A specific call has also been given by protesting organisations for congregation at Shambhu Border in Ambala, Mundhal Chowk in Bhiwani district, Gharaunda Anaj Mandi in Karnal district, Tikri Border of Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district and Rajiv Gandhi Education City, Rai in Sonipat district.
Police said besides these points, protesters may divert or block traffic at entry points from Punjab to Haryana in districts of Panchkula, Ambala, Kaithal, Jind, Fatehabad and Sirsa from November 25 to 27.
A police spokesperson said that to ensure appropriate law and order arrangement it is likely that the traffic diversion/road blocks by the police may be put into place on the roads/points on November 25, 26 and 27. There will be a diversion on various road entry points from Punjab into Haryana in the districts of Panchkula, Ambala, Kaithal, Jind, Fatehabad and Sirsa. Four major National Highways leading towards Delhi will also have traffic diversions or roadblocks. Traffic diversions or road blocks may be put by the police at Shambhu Border, Mundhal Chowk, Anaj Mandi Gharaunda, Tikri Border and Rai (Sonipat).
“In view of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ call for November 26, 27 elaborate arrangements have been made by the civil and police administration in Haryana, as per directions of the state government to maintain proper law and order, traffic and security arrangements in the state. The primary objective of these arrangements is to maintain proper law and order to prevent any kind of violence, facilitate functioning of traffic and public transport systems and to ensure public peace and order. The instructions in force due to Covid-19 pandemic situation have also been kept in mind,” the spokesperson added.
CS reviews arrangements
Haryana Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan Tuesday met senior officers to review the state government’s contingency plan in view of the farmers’ protest.
In the meeting, Vardhan said that special monitoring should be conducted on Shambhu Border (Ambala) and “additional police forces should be deployed in Gharaunda (Karnal) and Mundhal (Bhiwani) where huge farmer gatherings are expected”. The Chief Secretary also directed the officers to set up multi-layer barricading on highways leading to Haryana.
“The police patrolling will have to be increased on the five National Highways across the state connecting Delhi so as to maintain supplies of essential commodities without any obstruction….traffic should be directed to alternative roads thus minimising inconvenience to commuters,” he added.
The Chief Secretary said that all police officers should remain present in the districts. Executive magistrates should be deployed in the areas where farmers gather.
He also directed that ambulances, doctors and paramedical staff should also be deployed on the highways along with the police force. Further, doctors and paramedical staff should be stationed at health centres of the districts so that their help can be taken in case of emergency. The Chief Secretary said that videography of farmer groups gathered at any place should also be done.
The review meeting with the Chief Secretary included Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of Ambala, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jind, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Panchkula districts. Additional Chief Secretaries Sanjeev Kaushal and Alok Nigam were also present in the meeting that took place through video conferencing. The Chief Secretary directed the officers that the police department will have to ensure all necessary steps to maintain law and order and make appropriate arrangements for disseminating information in proper manner to prevent any mishap. Similarly, adequate arrangements for drinking water, medical assistance, electricity supply, tents and other basic facilities will have to be made.
Vardhan directed the police department to establish control rooms to coordinate with the district administration. The DCs and SPs were directed to disseminate minute to minute information to the Home Secretary, DGP and Chief Secretary’s Office, he asserted.
Among those present in the meeting included Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, V Umashankar, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora, Additional Chief Secretary Dheera Khandelwal, DGP Manoj Yadav and Additional Director General of Police Navdeep Singh Virk and other senior officers.
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