Modified tractors would be used to remove the barricades and boulders placed by the police on highways in view of the farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ march scheduled on February 13 (Tuesday).
Authorities in Haryana and Delhi have reinforced borders with neighbouring states by installing concrete blocks, road spike barriers, and barbed wires to prevent the entry of farmers in the national capital. Besides prohibitory orders, thousands of police personnel have been deployed to prevent demonstrations or march through tractor-trolley.
Meanwhile, Central intelligence agencies have alerted authorities in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana suspecting a mass movement of farmers, which will include over 5,000 tractors. Around 25,000 farmers have planned to march to Delhi from various districts of Punjab and Haryana to press their demands.
“Tractors have been fitted with hydraulic tools to remove barricades, fire-resistant hard-shell trailers being readied to fight tear gas shells. They have also performed drills with these modified vehicles,” news agency ANI quoted a Central intelligence agency official as saying.
The official also said that the horsepower of these machines has been doubled to ferry maximum numbers of protesting farmers to the site.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and various farmer associations, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab, have organised a protest march to press their demands to the Centre. Their key demands include the implementation of a law to ensure a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
Meanwhile, the Haryana government has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the assembly of five or more people, in 15 districts. The Chandigarh administration also imposed Section 144 in the city for a period of 60 days in view of the proposed march.
At the Shambhu border near Ambala, the authorities have placed concrete blocks, sandbags, barbed wires and anti-riot vehicles on the road.
To deter protesters from throwing police barricades off the Ghaggar flyover, iron sheets have been installed along its two sides. Additionally, water cannons and Vajra vehicles have been deployed, and the Ghaggar river bed below has been excavated to obstruct the movement of vehicles.
Mobile internet services and bulk SMS have been suspended by the Haryana government in seven districts, including Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa, from February 11 to 13.
(With inputs from agencies.)