Protesting farmers launch nationwide road blockade

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Farmers gathered in Haryana. (Image Source: Twitter/Navneet Virk)

The nationwide three-hour road blockade of national and state highways or “chakka jam” by farmers protesting against the Indian government’s three controversial farm laws was held today between 12 pm and 3 pm (IST). This road blockade was the first large-scale event organized by the farmers after the violent clash during the Republic Day tractor rally. The national capital, Delhi was not included in the road blockade.

Protesting farmers blocked roads and highways across the country. A large group of farmers blocked the highway at Haryana’s Palwal. Women participated in large numbers during the chakka jam protests at Moonak-Tohana highway in Sangrur, Punjab. Bengaluru police detained a group of protesters outside the Yelahanka Police Station. 

Farm leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday had said that there would be no road blockade in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand as they had received information about some miscreants trying to turn the chakka jam protests into a violent one.

Despite the farmers barring Delhi from the chakka jam, the city was under high alert. In view of the event, the Delhi Police strengthened security arrangements at all border points of Delhi and erected multi-layer barricades to stop the movement at the Ghazipur border. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation announced closure of the entry and exit gates of 10 metro stations in Delhi. According to news agency PTI, the police detained around 50 people near Shaheedi Park, Delhi for allegedly holding a protest in support of the chakka jam.

As we have reported earlier, the nationwide blockade was called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions protesting the agricultural laws as the farmers claim that the Union Budget 2021 ignored them and against the internet shutdown imposed by the government at various protest sites. 

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