Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday welcomed the Union government's decision allowing farmers to enter the national capital and hold peaceful agitation. Earlier in the day, agitating farmers at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border had pelted stones and broke barricades as they clashed with Delhi Police which used tear gas shells to disperse them.
Police said farmers have been allowed to hold peaceful protest at the Nirankari Ground in north Delhi. "I welcome the Centre's decision to allow farmers to enter Delhi to exercise their democratic right to protest. They should also now initiate immediate talks to address farmers' concerns on the #FarmLaws and resolve the simmering issue," Amarinder Singh said in a tweet.
Punjab farmers' bodies said that officials of the Union home ministry had allowed them a place in Delhi to hold the agitation. "We have been allowed safe passage to Delhi," claimed Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal.
Farmers had demanded that they be allowed to hold their protest at the Ramlila ground but the Delhi Police had denied the request. The Punjab chief minister slammed the ML Khattar-led government in Haryana for its continued use of brute force to stop farmers even after the Union government's conciliatory move.
"What's the need for such harsh measures? This barbarism needs to stop right now @mlkhattar ji," said the chief minister in a statement. Despite heavy security deployment, groups of agitating farmers from Punjab and Haryana reached near two Delhi borders on Friday morning after breaking police barricades on the way.
The Delhi Police had enhanced deployment of security personnel, stationed sand-laden trucks and water cannons and used barbed wire for fencing at the Singhu and Tikri border points to prevent the protesters from entering the city. Farmers haveexpressed apprehension thatthe new laws would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.
They have been demanding that these new laws should be repealed. The Centre has invited several Punjab farm bodies for another oftalks in Delhi on December 3.