There will be no “chakka jam” or road block in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Saturday, though farmers across the country are likely to protest “peacefully” on national highways, an umbrella body of farmers have said. The statement comes days after a tractor rally on Republic Day by farmers in Delhi turned violent.
In a statement, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha that is participating in the protest to demand repeal of the three new farm laws said essential services such as ambulances and school buses will not be stopped during the “chakka jam” scheduled to be organised between 12 pm and 3 pm on Saturday.
“There will be no road blockade in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand tomorrow; roads will be blocked in rest of the country excluding Delhi. The reason is that they can be called to Delhi any time, so they are kept on standby,” Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said.
“We have evidence that a few people would attempt to spread violence at these places. So we have decided to not block roads in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” Mr Tikait said.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have been camping at three border points in Delhi – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – for over 70 days.
“There will be no chakka jam programme inside Delhi since all the protest sites are already in a chakka jam mode. All roads for entering Delhi will remain open except where farmers’ protest sites are already located,” the farmers’ group said in the statement.
“Chakka jam” will remain “completely peaceful”, farmer leader Darshan Pal said, adding protesters have been asked not to get into any kind of conflict with government officials and others.
The farmers’ group said the government’s move to snap internet around protest sites and install concrete barricades, including inserting nails on the roads to prevent crowd movement, was an act to silence them.
Security at the three protest sites at the Delhi-Haryana border has been tightened and more policemen have been deployed. Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava met with senior officers to review the arrangements.
The police said they will monitor social media to catch anyone spreading rumours that could lead to trouble. “We are monitoring content on social media to make sure rumours are not spread against the police. The protestors are camping at the borders of Delhi. We are in touch with the police force of other states also,” Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said.