After couple of days of violent protests and police action against them, thousands of farmers, who have been protesting against the new farm laws, were allowed to enter Delhi on Friday evening. The government lifted blockades on highways connecting Haryana, Punjab with the national capital. The Nirankari Ground in north Delhi's Burari is the place where the action is now likely to shift after three days of pitched battle between the farmers and police which saw the cops using tear gas, water cannons against the agitating crowd.
Traffic on the highway to Delhi's and other roads was restored, with the Haryana Police removing barricades meant to thwart the 'Delhi Chalo' protest against the Centre’s new farm laws.
"The barriers which had been put up earlier have been lifted. Vehicular traffic is plying normally," Karnal Range Inspector General of Police Bharti Arora told news agency PTI over phone.
Farmers' protest - Here's all that happened
- After resting for the night at multiple places along the highway to Delhi, farmers began their march to Delhi Friday morning. Chaos erupted soon after as they attempted to defy barricadings put up by the police.
- The police used tear gas and water cannons at the Singhu border against the farmers as they refused to abide by the administration's orders. At some places, a few protestors were also seen pelting stones at the cops.
- After hours of drama, tension was defused to some extent in the evening after the police announced that the farmers will be allowed to enter Delhi. The administration earmarked a large ground in Delhi's outskirts for the farmers to continue their agitation.
- At the Tikri border, farmers were escorted by police personnel amid tight security and taken towards the Nirankari Ground, one of the biggest in the city.
- Later, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Centre has always been ready to listen to the farmers. Tomar invited the farmers to discuss their grievances on December 3, while appealing them to end their protest.
- "The government has always been ready to discuss issues with farmers. We have invited farmers' organisations for another round of talks on 3rd December. I appeal to them to leave agitation in view of COVID-19 and winter," news agency ANI quoted Tomar, as saying.
- Amid the protests, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said no government in the world can stop farmers fighting the "battle of truth".
- "The Modi government will have to agree to the demands of the farmers and take back the black laws. This is just the beginning!" Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
- However, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh welcomed the Centre's decision to allow the farmers to enter. “They should also now initiate immediate talks to address farmers' concerns on the #FarmLaws and resolve the simmering issue," Singh said on Twitter.
- The Delhi Police, earlier in the day, had sought permission from the Delhi government to use the city's nine stadiums as temporary jails for farmers. However, the Kejriwal government refused permission.