- Thousands of farmers are heading to Delhi for massive protests
- The farmers have been planning "Delhi Chalo" protest for two months
- "There is every facility you can think of," a farmer said
As thousands of farmers headed to Delhi on Thursday for a massive protest march, they marched alongside tractors carrying enough supplies to last them for months.
Farmers from six states had been planning the "Delhi Chalo" protest for two months against the centre's new farm laws that. Teargas, water cannons and a large police contingent failed to stop them from crossing over to Haryana en route to Delhi.
"We have enough ration for two and a half to three months," said Tarpreet Uppal, travelling in a modified tractor that is their lifeline.
"There is a 5,000 litre tank, gas stove, inverter, every facility you can think of. We have mattresses, quilts, enough vegetables," he told NDTV, asserting that the farmers had no intention of returning home soon. They have tarpaulin to cover the tractor and protect them from the rising winter chill.
"We will stay in Delhi as long as it takes. We are going to win Delhi."
Mr Uppal said the last time they protested, in Punjab, it hardly made a dent. ""So this time, we will force them to take notice."
Farm union leaders claim some 3 lakh farmers are participating in the protest march. There are up to 700 trolleys, each with 20 people.
This morning, they crossed their first hurdle just outside Haryana, where protesters clashed with the police on a bridge. Haryana, ruled by the BJP, has used heavy force to block the farmers.
In dramatic visuals, the farmers -- some armed with sticks and swords -- were seen flinging barricades into the river, throwing bricks at the police and trying to physically push vehicles parked by the Haryana police. They faced teargas and water cannons and refused to retreat.
After a two-hour confrontation, the farmers cleared the bridge, far outnumbering cops, and crossed into Haryana.
All roads to Delhi, especially in Gurgaon, were jammed as the police screened every vehicle entering the capital.
The farmers are protesting against three farm bills that they believe will reduce their earnings and give large retailers and corporates more control over prices. Farmers' unions and opposition parties have demanded that the laws be scrapped.