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Haryana seals borders with boulders yet again, farmers push them aside

While the blockade at Bathinda-Dabwali road was partial and allowed vehicles other than combines to enter from Punjab, the Khanauri-Jind highway and the Fatehabad-Sardulgarh highway were completely blocked. However, farmers removed obstacles placed in their way in the next 3 hours.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Updated: December 13, 2020 1:35:54 pm
Boulder being removed at Khanauri -Jind Highway.

Haryana yet again sealed its borders with Punjab at Dabwali, Jind and Fatehabad on Saturday morning. Farmers once again used their tractors to move boulders placed on the roads.

Haryana’s decision to seal the borders again came on a day when Punjab farmers had to join farmers from Haryana in staging dharnas at toll plazas. Apart from this, over 300 combine harvesters had also to start from Punjab, but their movement was postponed. Also, a convoy of Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC) which started with 1,500 vehicles on Friday continued its movement towards Delhi on NH-1.

Surjit Singh, a farmer from Ransinh Khurd village of Moga said, “At about 9 am, I along with few villagers of Punjab were coming from Tikri border and were to go back to our village via Jind- Khanauri border. However, to our surprise, it was yet again sealed by Haryana government with the help of JCB and a water cannon vehicle was also placed towards Haryana side. Within no time, people started gathering from Punjab and Haryana at this place as videos were made by farmers/residents of the nearby areas asking Punjab and Haryana farmers to gather in large numbers. Over 1,000 vehicles gathered on both sides of border collectively.”

Balbir Singh, from village Hansbehar in Haryana, said: “In the morning at about 8 am, Haryana cops used a JCB to place same boulders to seal its borders with Punjab from Khanauri side which were used on November 26 when Delhi Chalo movement had started. However, when farmers gathered in large numbers, cops were seen at the spot. Farmers yet again removed the boulders with the help of their tractors and threw them in low lying areas on both sides of the road.”

Lakhbir Singh (32) from Ransinh Khurd village said, “I was coming back from Delhi after 17 days. When I went on November 27, even on that day, I had removed the boulders and now yet again did the same. However, today there was no confrontation with cops as after placing boulders, they were not standing on the road.”

Jagdev Singh, a 23-year-old farmer who too had broken barricades on November 27, was on his way from Delhi to reach his village in Moga. He said, “I had not expected this on my way back but we are now used to removing such boulders.”

Surjit added, “When farmers started removing boulders, the water cannon vehicle quickly left the place…Khanauri-Jind road was free of all barriers by noon.”

Meanwhile from Sangrur villages, around 100 farmers went to Khatkarh Kalan toll plaza in Jind to sit with farmers of Bharti Kisan Union led by Gurnam Singh Chaduni and apart from this around 100 vehicles (tractor- trolley and cars) passed through this highway after the blockade was cleared.

At Bathinda- Dabwali road, however, the blockade was partial. “Dabwali police had placed boulders on both sides of this highway but had kept a space to allow movement of small cars, tempo from that space. A trolley could also pass but with great difficulty. However, combine harvester could not pass. This blockade was done at about 11 am on this road when three canters of Bharti Kisan Union-Ekta (Ugrahan) went to Sirsa to stage a dharna at toll plaza. We did not face any hurdle as our vehicle could pass easily from that area, when we came back in the evening. Boulders were kept on side of that highway and the road was cleared, however police force was much more than in the morning. But if they seal the borders yet again completely, we will clear them,” said Kulwant Sharma, president of Sangat block in Bathinda district from BKU (Ugrahan).

Gurprem Singh, a union leader of Haryana Kisan Manch, said, “Haryana will clear all ways for Punjab if Haryana’s government dares to seal them again. Younger brother (Haryana) will not let elder brother (Punjab) suffer repeatedly.”

Another farmer leader from Haryana, S P Singh, said: “Haryana has a BJP government who want to snub people’s voice.”

Sardulgarh in Mansa district was another point of entry into Haryana via Fatehabad district where boulders were placed. “Punjab and Haryana farmers jointly removed these boulders within in one hour. Yellow barricades with barbed wires on it were also placed behind the boulders. They too were thrown away. I really wonder, why Haryana is trying to stop entry of Punjab residents again and again. We are not from Pakistan,” said Rajinder Singh general secretary of Krantikari Kisan Union while talking with The Indian Express.

From Moonak Tehsil of Sangrur, there is another entry towards Fatehabad district. There were no barricades on this road, but heavy police force was deployed at the spot who were checking papers of vehicles and issuing challans for violations too. A number of persons were also asked about their destination too, revealed sources. However, no trolleys were passing through this side and routine commuters were going, added sources.

At Shambhu border on NH-1, which is a popular route for going to Delhi, no blockades were placed by Haryana Police. This even though farmers from Fatehgarh Sahib, Sirhind, Patiala had gone at toll plaza of Shambhu and also in Ambala to sit with Haryana farmers.

Gurlabh Singh, advocate from Mansa who also went to Shambhu border, said,” Punjab and Haryana farmers coordinated at toll plazas for staging dharnas.”

Satnam Singh Pannu, president of KMSC, said, “Our convoy was stopped at Baba Daler Singh’s dera at Shahbad Markanda in Haryana and by Saturday evening, we reached Delhi’s Kundli border. More trolleys are still on the way, People are keen to march ahead for Delhi morcha against farm laws.”

Taranvir Singh, who is from the Punjab Combine Harvester Association, said, “Around 300 combines were to start from Punjab on Saturday morning, but we have postponed our plan as of now because of movement of vehicles already towards Delhi and even today there were dharnas in Haryana as well. We are in touch with farmer unions and will march ahead after coordinating with them.”

Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “Our members had gone to many Haryana villages on December 10 and 11 regarding preparation of dharnas at toll plazas on Saturday and even on Saturday, few of our members from Mansa, Bathinda, Sangrur, Patiala, Muktsar districts went in Haryana to sit on dharnas at toll plazas. It is really surprising to see repeated blockades by Haryana government. They are trying to test the patience of farmers.”

However Manoj Yadav, Haryana DGP said,“We have made preparations. If we need to seal the borders, we should be able to do it. But as of now, the borders have not been sealed,to avoid inconvenience to genuine travellers. ”

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