Farmers’ groups, led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, began their march to Delhi on Tuesday after a meeting with the Central government remained inconclusive about fulfilling their demands.

A look at the top developments from the farmers’ march:

  • The Haryana Police fired tear gas using drones at farmers at the Shambhu border – Haryana’s inter-state border with Punjab – as agitators attempted to break barricades, reported The Indian Express. Visuals shared by ANI later showed that the farmers were successful in removing some cement barricades with their tractors. “We are not bothered by tear gas shells, we are clearing the barricades, we shall move ahead,” a farmer leader were quoted as saying. At least four people have reportedly sustained injuries due to the firing of tear gas.

  • Meanwhile, Patiala Deputy Commissioner Showkat Ahmed Parray has directed the deputy commissioner of Ambala to stop the use of drones for firing tear gas at protesting farmers.

  • The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi refused a proposal by the Centre to convert the Bawana Stadium into a jail for agitating farmers. “It is the constitutional right of every citizen to make a peaceful protest,” Delhi Home Minister Kailash Gahlot said in a letter to the chief secretary. “It is, therefore, incorrect to arrest the farmers.”

  • The Delhi government has also described the farmers’ demands as “genuine” and suggested that the Central government hold talks with them to try and arrive at a solution.

  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to the Centre and the Punjab, Haryana and Delhi governments, advising them to identify areas where farmers can hold protests, reported Bar and Bench. The bench of Acting Chief Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji also asked the authorities to file status reports on two separate petitions filed on Monday pertaining to the farmers’ protest.

  • The Congress announced that it will address the farmers' primary demand for a law ensuring a minimum support price if it is voted to power at the Centre. "This step will change the lives of 15 crore farmer families by ensuring their prosperity,” party leader Rahul Gandhi wrote on social media. “This is the first guarantee of Congress on the path of justice.”

  • The Haryana government has set up seven detention centres in Jhajjar. “Traffic to-and-from Delhi has been diverted to alternate routes,” said Arpit Jain, the district police chief. Haryana also fortified its borders with Punjab using concrete blocks at several locations including Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra and Sirsa.

  • The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation announced that a few gates at nine metro stations in Delhi may be closed as per security instructions.

What are the protestors demanding?

The farmers are pressing for a law guaranteeing a minimum support price for agricultural commodities. A minimum support price is the rate at which the government buys farm produce.

Their other demands include the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission Report’s recommendations on farming in India, which say that the minimum support price should be raised to at least 50% above the weighted average cost of production incurred by farmers.

Yet more demands inlcude a pension scheme for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waivers, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, India’s withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and compensation for families of farmers who died during the previous farmers’ protests in 2020-’21.

To stop the farmers from moving into the national capital, the authorities in Delhi on Monday fortified the city’s borders at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur with multilayered barricades using concertina wires, nails, concrete blocks and shipping containers. The volume of police and paramilitary personnel was also increased.

Also read: Why farmers from Punjab and Haryana are marching to Delhi again