Farmers’ Protest 2.0: Delhi Chalo march sparks legal battle and traffic chaos

traffic chaos

New Delhi: Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are marching towards Delhi in the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest, demanding legal guarantees for the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops. The protest has triggered a legal battle in the Punjab Haryana High Court, as well as a traffic nightmare in the Delhi-NCR region.

Legal battle

The Punjab Haryana High Court is hearing a case regarding the farmers’ agitation, which has been going on since February 10. The court has asked the farmers to ensure a place to protest without causing inconvenience to the public. The court has also asked the Delhi government to join the case as a party, as the farmers are heading to the national capital to press their demands.

The court has sought status reports from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, and the Central Government by February 15, when the next hearing will take place. The court has also questioned why the farmers are being stopped by Haryana from entering Delhi if they are going to protest peacefully.

The Central Government, represented by Satpal Jain, has told the court that it is ready for continuous talks with the farmers. The government has also agreed to withdraw cases against farmers registered during the 2020-21 agitation against the now-repealed farm laws². However, the government has not given any legal guarantee of MSP, which is the main cause of the current agitation.

The Punjab government, on the other hand, has argued that the farmers have the right to protest peacefully and democratically and that they are not creating any law and order problem. The Haryana government has defended its decision to block the roads, saying that it has done so to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident.

Traffic chaos

The farmers’ march has also caused severe traffic congestion in the Delhi-NCR region, as police have sealed the borders on three sides of the city, and put up multiple layers of barricades, barbed wire, and cement blocks to stop the protesters from entering the city. The police have also imposed prohibitory orders to prevent large gatherings in the city.

The traffic snarls have affected several major roads, including the Ghazipur border area, where only two vehicles were allowed to pass at a time due to the barricades installed on half of the major stretch connecting Noida and Delhi. Many commuters have been stuck for hours, and have expressed their frustration and helplessness.

One of them, Arun Singh, a resident of Uttarakhand, said that he was going to meet his ailing father at Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi. He said that he and his family had been stuck at the Ghazipur border since 11 am. He said that this was a very disappointing situation for them, and that they were feeling angry and helpless.

traffic chaos

The farmers, meanwhile, have vowed to continue their march, and have said that they will go to Delhi to put pressure on the Centre to accept their demands. They have also said that they will not accept any committee or panel to discuss the MSP issue, and that they want a law on MSP for all crops.