- Extra security has been deployed in Delhi in view of the Chakka jam
- The Congress has extended support to the nationwide blockade
- Farmers have rejected offer to put the farm laws on hold for 18 months
Here are the Top10 Points in this big story:
Farmers blocked the highway from Delhi-Haryana border at Kundli to Palwal, but allowed the movement of ambulances and essential services . The Pathankot-Jammu Highway was also blocked.
The Punjab-Haryana border was sealed and several interior routes blocked.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said they held road blockades at 33 places in 15 districts including Sangrur, Barnala and Bathinda in Punjab.
Delhi, which saw violence during Republic Day's tractor rally, was placed under a security blanket. Around 50,000 police, paramilitary, and reserve forces personnel were deployed in the Delhi-NCR region. Access to at least eight Metro stations were shut since morning.
At Delhi's ITO – which saw violence on Republic Day as a group of farmers made their way to the Red Fort – there was huge police presence. The police placed a water cannon vehicle and "Vajra" which is used as a riot control vehicle.
"There will be no road blockade in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand tomorrow; roads will be blocked in rest of the country excluding Delhi. The reason is that they can be called to Delhi any time, so they are kept on standby," Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said.
The Congress extended support to the nationwide blockade. "The peaceful satyagraha of annadatas is in national interest -- these three laws are not just harmful for farmers-labourers, but also for the people and the country. Full support!" Rahul Gandhi said in a Hindi tweet.
The farmers on Saturday reiterated that the agitation will continue till the farm laws are withdrawn. A series of meetings between the Centre and the farmers' representatives have drawn a blank.
The farmers have rejected the Centre's latest offer to keep the farm laws on hold for 18 months and continue negotiations. The government, on its part, has made it clear that will not withdraw the laws, which have been billed as its big ticket reforms in the sector that would improve the farmers' income.
The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
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