Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday accused the Haryana government of creating a border “between Punjab and India”, referring to the concrete blocks, nails and barbed wire placed on some roads to scuttle the farmers’ proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
He said the Manohar Khattar-led Haryana government has placed as much barbed wire at the state’s borders with Punjab as there is at the country’s border with Pakistan.
Mr Khattar, however, justified the steps taken by his government to seal the state’s borders and stop Punjab farmers from marching towards the national capital, saying the arrangements are aimed at maintaining law and order.
Haryana authorities have sealed the state’s border with Punjab at Shambhu near Ambala district, placing concrete blocks, sandbags, barbed wire and anti-riot vehicles on the roads going towards Delhi. Elaborate arrangements have been made at the state’s borders with Punjab in Jind and Fatehabad districts as well.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that more than 200 farm unions would march to Delhi on February 13 to press the Centre to accept several demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
Addressing a gathering in Tarn Taran, Mr Mann urged the Centre to accept the genuine demands of the farmers. “What are they doing in Haryana? They are laying nails and barbed wire at the Punjab-Haryana borders,” he said, expressing displeasure over the arrangements made by Haryana authorities.
“I urge the Centre to hold talks with farmers and accept their genuine demands. Do not create a border between Punjab and India. They (the Haryana government) have set up a border. There is as much barbed wire on the roads (at Punjab-Haryana borders) to go to Delhi as there is at the border with Pakistan,” Mr Mann added.
Meanwhile, the Haryana Chief Minister said the arrangements were made to maintain law and order.
“The kind of agitation they do is not right in democracy and we have seen this the last time. There are many buses and trains (to go to Delhi). But they take tractors and also attach some weapons at the front side of the tractors and if somebody asks them to stop, they will not stop,” he said.
The Haryana Police have also installed iron sheets along the two sides of the road on the Ghaggar flyover near Ambala to prevent protesters from throwing police barricades off it. Water cannons and Vajra vehicles have been stationed near the Shambhu border and the Ghaggar river bed below has been dug up.
In Fatehabad, concrete blocks and spike strips have been placed on a road in the Jakhal area. At the Tohana border in the district, authorities have placed sand-laden containers and concrete barricades and cemented three layers of nails on the road.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)