February 7, 2021 1:31:04 am
Around 200 farmers at the Tikri protest site participated in the nationwide chakka jam on Saturday. Protesters sat on the Bahadurgarh bypass road, a few kilometres away from the border, while tractors were parked in a row behind them to block the Tikri-Rohtak route.
Harpreet Singh (22), a farmer from Amritsar, who was among those seated on the road, said the chakka jam is nothing but a demonstration of strength: “We do not have any intention of troubling people. We just want to remind the government that we will not move. We are also fighting for those farmers who have been detained.”
Unlike the Republic Day parade that was organised on a large scale, the blockade only involved a few farmers whose tractors were parked on the bypass road. Ankit Sandhu (20), a farmer from Hisar, had locked his truck to an abandoned ice-cream van. “There was not much preparation involved besides arranging vehicles and gathering people,” he said.
A few farmers sang and danced while others chanted slogans. They said the blockade was also to reiterate that they would not go anywhere till the laws are repealed.
Jagminder Singh, a farmer from Bhiwani, who guided others from the region, said, “We got to know about this a few days earlier. At 3 pm, trucks that are waiting will be allowed to go through.” Farmers had said they would allow a vehicle to pass in case it was an emergency, but such a situation did not arise.
Meanwhile, a number of goods trucks waited for the roadblock to end. Md Firoz (22), who works in transportation of raw material used in helmet factories, picked up material in his truck from Nangloi and left for Bahadurgarh at 11 am. At 2.30 pm, he said he had been waiting at the same spot for over two hours: “I knew this was going to happen but there are no other routes.” He added he did not have anything against farmers.
Birendra Kumar (40), a shuttle driver who was dropping off a family of five from New Delhi Railway Station to Rohtak, was also among those who got caught in between. He said, “It has been an hour since I reached. Luckily, the customers are not too angry…. Farmers offered us tea as we waited.”
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