As farmers protest, premised on the Shaheen Bagh model to hold the Union government to ransom, gains momentum and reaches the Delhi-Jaipur highway on Saturday, Home Minister Amit Shah had held a high-level meeting with senior police, security and government officials on Friday.
As per reports, the objective of the meeting was to pre-empt the outbreak of violence at the bordering areas of Delhi. Intelligence reports had earlier pointed to the presence of at least 10 extremist groups, in the anti-farmer agitation. These groups have joined the protests to engage in violence, thereby forcing the police to intervene and resist.
On Friday, in response to the calls by farmer unions, the protestors have decided to block the Delhi-Jaipur Highway and picket toll plazas on Saturday. “More farmers have now joined the dharna sites at Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Palwal. Farmers from Tamil Nadu have arrived and groups of farmers from almost all States of India shall be arriving to join the Delhi protest soon,” stated All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
Security tightened at Delhi’s bordering areas
The security arrangements have been tightened in light of the decision of the protestors to block the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Reportedly, the District Magistrate (Gurugram) has appointed 68 Duty Magistrates and deployed them at different locations to maintain law and order situation in the district. About 5000 police officials have been deployed along the Delhi-Haryana border.
#Breaking | Security arrangements have been intensified in light of the agitation and District Magistrate of Gurugram has appointed 68 Duty Magistrates at multiple locations in the district. pic.twitter.com/7w43bne4qk— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) December 12, 2020
Similarly, 2000 police personnel have been deployed along the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal intersection to prevent the blockage of the crucial Delhi-Jaipur highway. The Gurugram police have also chalked out diversion plans to prevent commuters from having inconvenience.
An additional 3500 police personnel, armed with riot equipment, have also been deployed. To prevent security breaches, Reserve Police Force officers have been sent to 5 tolls along KGP toll plaza, Pali Crusher Zone, Badarpur border, Gurugram-Faridabad border and Dhoj. A heavy police force has also been deployed at the Shambhu border.
Heavy police Force deployed at Shambhu border as farmers’ protest enters 17th day.— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) December 12, 2020
Gurpreet with the ground details. pic.twitter.com/pHx9iibZim
The Anti-farm law agitation
The renewed anti-farm law protests began in late November, with demands to repeal the three historic farm laws that are aimed at ending the monopoly of middlemen, APMC markets, and bringing prosperity to the lives of farmers through fair pricing for their produce. While their demands have been rejected, the government has assured that they are open to discussion on the subject. The BJP had accused the Congress and the commission agents of misleading farmers and spreading rumours about ‘abolishment’ of Mandis.
Khalistanis, Naxal sympathisers take centre stage in farmers protest
In a shocking incident on Thursday, the protestors along the Tikri border, who started their protest as a grievance against the farm laws, began demanding the release of terrorist sympathisers and enablers such as Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bhardwaj, Varvara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, and riot accuses such as Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi etc.
BKU Ekta Ugrahan, which claims to be a farmers’ organisation and had gathered some of the protestors along the Delhi-Haryana border observed ‘human rights’ day at Tikri border and demanded the release of Urban Naxals arrested in Elgar Parishad case, Islamists arrested in Delhi riots case and others. The protestors also demanded the government to release the accused of Anti-Hindu Delhi riots case.
It is important to note that the Khalistan organisation SFJ, funded by Pakistan, had earlier declared a grant of $1 million for farmers in Punjab and Haryana in lieu of their support for Khalistan. On 23rd September, it was reported that the SFJ had attempted to capitalise on the ongoing protests by farmers and had declared that it would distribute $1 million among farmers who had defaulted on agricultural loans.
Farmers protest and Shaheen Bagh agitation share uncanny resemblance
The central government has time and again clarified that they are not doing away with the MSP. However, for some reason, these agitating ‘farmers’ still insist that government should not do away with MSP. How can the government not get rid of something they are not getting rid of?
This is exactly like the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests in Shaheen Bagh where people claimed that Indian Muslims will be asked to show their documents to prove citizenship. This, when government clarified multiple times that CAA has absolutely nothing to do with Indian citizens, irrespective of religion. With these elements now rejecting the proposal by the government and planning to block more highways, it becomes evident that these protests are being modelled after the Shaheen Bagh protests, where the aim is to disrupt the nation and create unrest.