A group of farmers, among those who have been protesting at the Haryana-Rajasthan border for almost three weeks, managed to break through the barricades set up by Rewari Police Thursday afternoon.
The protesters, who were headed to Delhi, were blocked around 16 km away at the Bhudla flyover. Farmer leaders, meanwhile, are trying to convince them to return to the border and continue the protest peacefully.
Said Rajesh Kumar, DSP (Bawal), “Around 20-25 tractors managed to break through the barricades this afternoon and enter Rewari. We had to use water cannons and tear gas shells to stop them but they managed to move forward.”
Leaders from groups associated with the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha distanced themselves from the group.
“Until the protest carries on under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, we will follow what the leaders say; we are all disciplined. There is a group of protesters who, from the beginning, have been wanting to force their way through…This is not part of our plan, we are trying to create pressure on the government, make people aware. We are not here to fight or get into a confrontation or damage things,” said Ramzan Chaudhary, head of the Nuh unit of the Jai Kisan Andolan that has also been protesting under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha.
Farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana have been protesting at the border since December 13, with people from other states, including Gujarat and Maharashtra, joining them in the days since, resulting in their numbers swelling from barely 200 to around 1,500 now.
A representative of Swaraj India said, “There are some youth who have broken through the barricades. They have been here for some time and were getting impatient. We had been trying to convince them since the morning to not force their way, that we had to stay here and strengthen the movement, but they felt they needed to move towards Delhi.”
“Only 12 or 13 tractors have gone through, the rest of the protesters are still at the border and will continue to remain there until they receive any directions otherwise from the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leaders… Talks are also on to convince those who went through to continue the protest peacefully,” he said.
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