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Friday, 27 November 2020

Farmers face water cannons

Nitin Jain
Tribune News Service
Ambala, November 26

Three-tier police nakas and use of force failed to stop Punjab farmers from entering Haryana on Thursday. Thousands of peasants passed through Ambala after breaking police barricades at Shambhu on the Patiala-Ambala highway and Saddopur on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

The young and old, women and children braved water cannons and teargas shells by the huge posse of Haryana Police, accompanied by Rapid Action Force (RAF) to continue their march to Delhi.

Peasants took control of the highways passing through Ambala towards Delhi after a face-off with the police. They threw away iron barricades and moved heavy concrete boulders placed on the middle of the highways.

The determined protesters pushed aside earth-laden dumper placers and fire tenders to make way for over 1,000 tractor-trolleys, buses and other vehicles into Haryana. Many walked on foot while waving black flags as part of the anti-government movement, leaving cops on duty helpless.

The farmers had brought JCB machines, iron chains and a road roller to break open police nakas. Some of them pelted police personnel with stones and bricks, resulting in minor injuries on them. As the tension rose and the situation turned into a free-for-all, the cops started moving aside to avoid a clash.

Some police personnel had a narrow escape when the protesters pushed aside an earth-laden dumper placer towards them and it started sliding towards them, but stopped after hitting the toll plaza wall.

Punjab farmers breached the naka at the Shambhu border around 11 am and marched into Haryana. They threw barricades into the Ghaggar and faced the police, equipped with anti-riot gadgets, leaving a few of them injured.

After the peasants crossed, the police parked heavy vehicles in the middle of the highway to stop the protesters, but to no avail. The appeal by BKU leader Balbir Singh Rajewal not to break barricades and squat indefinitely, failed to stop the farmers.

"Till the time the PM takes back these farm laws, we will not return home," said Kashmir Kaur (40) of Ludhiana.

"We had made arrangements to prevent the movement of protesters, but they came with JCB machines and other equipment to break barricades," said DC Ashok Kumar Sharma.

from The Tribune

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