The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday ordered the Haryana government to open up the Shambhu border within a week, reported The Indian Express.

The Punjab-Haryana border at Shambhu has been closed to public transport for more than five months. It was heavily barricaded in February to stop protesting farmers from marching to Delhi.

“Endeavour should be made by both the states [Punjab and Haryana] that Shambhu border is restored to its original”, the bench of Justices GS Sandhawalia and Vikas Bahl remarked verbally in response to a plea filed by a man named Uday Pratap Singh.

The court directed the governments of both states to maintain law and order while opening up the border.

In February, farmers’ groups from Punjab had begun to march to Delhi to push for a law guaranteeing a minimum support price for agricultural commodities.

Thousands of demonstrators, led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha unions, have been stationed at several locations on the Punjab-Haryana border since February 13, after the Haryana Police used force to stop them from entering the state.

Singh filed the public interest litigation in February, seeking a stay on the “obstructive” actions that the Centre and the Punjab and Haryana governments had imposed, mainly at Shambhu and Khanauri.

The Haryana government had earlier told the court: “In view of the security of the local area, the barricading can only be removed if the farmers shift their dharna from the national highway and remove their tractor-trolley from the national highway.”

During the hearing, Haryana’s Additional Advocate General Deepak Sabharwal claimed that around 400 to 450 demonstrators were planning to enter the state from Punjab and gherao the Ambala superintendent of police’s office.

“Men in uniform cannot be scared of them,” the bench said. “We are living in a democracy. Farmers cannot be stopped from entering Haryana…There is no free flow of transport vehicles and buses, thus the general public is in great inconvenience.”