Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today shared pictures of barricades and concertina wires placed near farmer protest sites at border joints near Delhi with a four-word message to the government – “build bridges, not walls”.
Build bridges, not walls! pic.twitter.com/C7gXKsUJAi
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 2, 2021
Farmers’ protest sites at Delhi’s borders have turned into fortresses with police increasing security and strengthening barricades.
At Delhi’s border with Uttar Pradesh, police have placed concertina wires between four layers of yellow barricades to stop farmers from crossing over into Delhi by the Ghazipur-Meerut highway.
Police cover have been also increased at Delhi-Haryana, where police personnel hooked iron rods between two rows of cement barriers on a flank of the main highway at the Singhu border to further restrict the movement of protesters.
Another portion of the highway at the Delhi-Haryana border is practically blocked now as a makeshift cement wall has come up there, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Last week, during a press conference, Mr Gandhi alleged the government of “beating, threatening and bullying” farmers, adding that the controversial farm laws should be repealed immediately.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the government over the issue.
प्रधानमंत्री जी, अपने किसानों से ही युद्ध? pic.twitter.com/gn2P90danm
– Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) February 2, 2021
The government and protesting farmers have not been able to break the deadlock over the controversial farm laws despite multiple level of talks.
The situation has deteorated further with farmers calling for a countrywide “chakka jam” protest on Saturday – their latest agitation, after the January 26 tractor rally that saw violence in the heart of the national capital.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at several border points into Delhi since November-end, demanding repeal of the three laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support system for their crops.
Enacted last September, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the wholesale market system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.