Farmers' protest: Three-hour nationwide 'chakka jam'; Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand excluded
An umbrella body of farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws has announced that farmers across the country will be observing a three-hour chakka jam, from 12:00pm to 3:00pm on Saturday. Further, it said peaceful protests will be held on national highways, but added that Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand will be excluded and there will be no road blockades there. Here's more.
Umbrella body issued strict guidelines to ensure peaceful violation
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of farmer unions that are spearheading the farmer protests, has issued a set of strict guidelines in order to ensure a "completely peaceful and non-violent" agitation across the country. It also appealed to the protesters not to engage in any kind of conflict with government authorities and other citizens as well.
Emergency and essential services will not be affected
The SKM further stated that "peaceful and non-violent" agitation will take place only on the state and national highways and nothing will happen inside Delhi. The umbrella body also said that the emergency and essential services will not be impacted, adding such services, including ambulances and school buses among others, will not be stopped during the chakka jam across India.
Roads for entering Delhi, except protest sites, will remain open
"There will be no chakka jam program inside Delhi since all the protest sites are already in that mode. All roads for entering Delhi will remain open except where farmers' protest sites are already located," said the SKM in a statement.
Farmers on standby, maybe called to national capital any time
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, said farmers are "on standby as they can be called to the national capital any time." "It has been decided to keep one lakh farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on standby," he added. He further claimed they have evidence some people may spread violence at certain places in Uttar Pradesh and border areas of Uttarakhand.
Farmers to blow vehicle horns for one minute at 3:00pm
The nationwide chakka jam program will conclude at 3:00pm with all farmers blowing horns of their vehicles at 3:00pm for one minute, indicating "the unity of farmers," the SKM said. It also invited the public to join in to express support to farmers at 3:00pm.
Security arrangements at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders stepped up
Meanwhile, security arrangements at protest sites at Delhi's Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders were beefed up in view of the farmers' chakka jam. Security personnel armed with anti-riot equipment have been deployed to stop protesters from entering Delhi to avoid Republic Day-like violence. During the chakka jam, thousands of Delhi Police personnel and nearly 15,000 CRPF, RAF, and CISF personnel will be on duty.
Unprecedented violence, chaos ensued in national capital on January 26
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, among other states, have been protesting at different borders of Delhi since November. On Republic Day, during their tractor rally, however, protesters broke barricades and went off designated routes, turning the rally violent. Delhi witnessed unprecedented violence and chaos as protesters attacked cops, broke into the Red Fort, and even hoisted Sikh flags there.
Farmers demanding repeal of three farm laws passed in September
The three farm laws that the farmers are opposing include the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Their demands include repealing these laws and ensuring that minimum support price (MSP) for their crops is legally guaranteed, among others.