This Article is From Jan 07, 2021

"Rehearsal", Say Farmers As They Take Out Tractors Near Delhi: 10 Points

The tractor rally is being seen as a show of force a day before farmer leaders and ministers are to meet yet again - for the eighth time - for talks on the farm laws, which the farmers say put them in shaky ground on minimum support price. The government has denied the laws would hurt farmers.

There will be diversions at several points on Eastern Peripheral Expressway today.

New Delhi: A 135-km six-lane arc that partially surrounds the National Capital Region and acts as a high-speed thoroughfare for cargo trucks was filled with tractors today as thousands of farmers who have been camping on the highways in and around Delhi began their march against new farm laws. The tractor rally, called by some 40 farmer unions, started on the Western Peripheral Expressway that starts at Ghaziabad and ends in Palwal. The police have asked people to avoid this expressway, which makes the other half of Western Peripheral Expressway, making a circle around the National Capital Region or NCR.

  1. Farmers started the tractor march around 11 am and moved towards Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway amid heavy deployment of Delhi Police and Haryana Police personnel, news agency PTI reported.

  2. Farm unions say their march is just "rehearsal" for their proposed January 26 tractor parade during which they will attempt to move into the national capital from different parts of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

  3. "In the coming days, we will intensify our agitation against the three farm laws. Around 2,500 tractors from Haryana have participated in today's march. We want to warn that if the government doesn't not accept our demands, farmers'' protest will get intensified further,"  Abhimanyu Kohar, a senior member of Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, told PTI.

  4. The tractor march started from four different points -- Singhu to Tikri Border, Tikri to Kundli, Ghazipur to Palwal and Rewasan to Palwal.

  5. The Delhi Traffic Police has been tweeting updates on which roads to avoid. It said Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli and Mangesh borders are shut for traffic. "Please take alternate route via Lampur Safiabad, Palla and Singhu school toll tax borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road. Please avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road and NH-44," the traffic police tweeted.

  6. In the last meeting between farmers and ministers on January 5, farmer leaders said Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar told them to go to the Supreme Court as the centre doesn't intend to withdraw the laws.

  7. Last month, the Supreme Court had ordered that a special committee be formed, insisting that the centre's negotiations have failed. "Your negotiation will again fail as they (the farmers) won't agree," said the bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.

  8. Camping on the highways at the Haryana-Delhi border for over 40 days, braving severe cold and rain, farmers have said their protest will only intensify in the coming days. The rain came amid a cold wave in the National Capital Region last week, taking temperature down to 1.1 degree Celsius, the lowest in 15 years in January.

  9. The tractor rally was planned for Tuesday; however, bad weather forced the farmers to defer the rally by a day. "It has been seven months since the new laws came into force and the government has held seven round of talks with farmers since then, but it has not listened to seven words of farmers, which are - we want repeal of the farm laws," said Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav.

  10. The farmers are adamant that they will not accept anything less than a repeal of the laws. They also want a law that guarantees the minimum support price. The government, which says the laws will benefit farmers by removing middlemen and enable them to sell crops anywhere in the country, has blamed the opposition for the protests, saying they are inciting farmers.