Farmers from South Haryana and Rajasthan, who intend to join protestors in Delhi, will be gathering in Rajasthan by Saturday evening and moving towards the capital Sunday morning. Officials in Gurgaon and Nuh, parts of which fall along the Delhi-Jaipur expressway, have made elaborate arrangements to ensure law and order is maintained and traffic is not hindered.
According to farmer leaders involved in the protest, people from Haryana and Alwar will be gathering at the Shahjahanpur border in Rajasthan by Saturday night. “On Sunday, we will join people coming from the direction of Kotputli around 10 am and march with them towards Delhi,” said Ramzan Chaudhary, head of the Nuh unit of Jai Kisan Andolan.
With farmers having initially threatened to block the Delhi-Jaipur highway on Saturday, Gurgaon Police had already stepped up security measures along National Highway 48 (NH-48). “We had deployed around 2,000 personnel to ensure there was no law and order problem and traffic movement remained smooth. The district was peaceful on Saturday. Deployment will remain in place through Sunday as well,” said Astha Modi, DCP (Headquarters).
In Nuh, meanwhile, District Magistrate Dhirendra Khadgata Saturday imposed Section 144. In the order, he stated “information” gathered from “various sources” indicated that “because of ongoing agitation by farmers”, there is a possibility of “few anti-social elements taking law into their hands” and of “violence and breakdown of law and order”.
Keeping this in mind, as well as the Haryana Epidemic Disease Covid-19 Regulations 2020 and the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, the DM said “it has become critical to prohibit movement and congregation of individuals making attempts to block railway lines and all major national/state highways and other district roads in the jurisdiction of district Nuh” in order to “secure the lives of the public in general and those protesting individuals in particular, on account of severe and intensifying cold and also potential aggravation of pandemic”.
The order declares that “all such movements and congregation of people more than five in number armed with lathis, dandas, bhalas, arms or any instrments etc., illegal.”
To “ensure compliance” the DM has also issued further directions. “People are required to stay at home and come out only for accessing basic and essential services as and when allowed by district administration…Government employees tasked with emergency and essential services… shall be allowed to move unhindered upon production of their identity cards,” states the order, adding that “personnel of medical education & research department and health services personnel” as well as “government employees of non-emergency departments but on official duty” shall also be allowed to attend to their duties after producing identity cards.
“Executive Magistracy” as well as “personnel in uniform at the service of the government”, meanwhile, will be allowed to “move unhindered”.
“This order shall come into force w.e.f. 10 am on December 12, 2020, till further orders. Compliance shall be ensured by all executive magistrates/police officials on duty and violation may be sternly dealt as per section of 188 (to be read with 195 of Criminal Procedure Code), 269 and 270, Indian Penal Code, 1860.” states the order.
Security was also stepped up in Faridabad in light of the threat by protestors to picket toll plazas. “Faridabad Police remained on alert through Saturday, with 3,500 police personnel deployed in the district, including at the five toll plazas. In addition, we also kept an eye on crowds using drones. The situation remained peaceful,” said Faridabad Police PRO Sube Singh.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines