10.18 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemns police action on farmers in Haryana and says she would go to Delhi if needed, according to PTI.

“The Centre cannot curb the democratic rights of the farmers,” says Banerjee. “It has passed a law which is against the interests of the farmers.”

10.15 pm: Haryana Director General of Police Manoj Yadava says the state’s force “acted with great restraint” while dealing with the farmers, reports PTI.

8 pm: Farmers tell NDTV they will stay in Delhi as long as it takes for the Centre to take notice of their protests. Thousands of them are marching to the national Capital with supplies to last them for months, including a tarpaulin to cover their tractor and protect them from the winter chill.

“We have enough ration for two and a half to three months,” says a person identified as Tarpreet Uppal. “There is a 5,000 litre tank, gas stove, inverter, every facility you can think of. We have mattresses, quilts, enough vegetables.”

Uppal tells the television channel that the farmers have no intention of returning home anytime soon. “We will stay in Delhi as long as it takes,” he adds. “We are going to win Delhi.”

7.47 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the three farm laws. He also questions if it is forbidden to go to Delhi as farmers were stopped by Haryana government on their way to a protest march.

7.45 pm: People coming to the national Capital from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh faced traffic snarls at several border crossings as the Delhi Police has intensified vehicle checking due to the farmers’ march, reports The Hindu.

7.41 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says that stopping farmers from going to Delhi is against the Constitutional spirit and freedom of speech of India, reports ANI. “I think the Haryana government should have allowed them to go and Delhi government should give them space to go and sit down to present their point,” he adds.

5.56 pm: Bathinda MP and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also condemns the Haryana government for preventing farmers’ entry to the state, saying it is a murder of democracy.

5.55 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal criticises the Haryana government for trying to stop protesting farmers from reaching Delhi, terming the attempt as “Punjab’s 26/11”.

“The battle for the rights of Punjab farmers cannot be throttled by using water cannons against them. Our resolve will only strengthen further,” Badal tweets.

5.46 pm: More visuals of the police using water cannon and tear-gas shells in Haryana’s Karnal to stop farmers from marching to Delhi.

4.49 pm: Delhi Metro services from the National Capital Region will remain suspended due to the farmers protest march against the Centre’s new farm laws, reports PTI. However, officials said metro services will be available from Delhi towards the NCR sections.

4.45 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tells his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar that the protesting farmers have to be convinced about minimum support price, and not him. A back and forth row has erupted between Singh and Khattar over the farmers protest march to Delhi.

Khattar had asked Singh to desist from misleading farmers, pointing out to him that he has already pledged to quit politics if the Minimum Support Price mechanism is ever dismantled due to the new farm laws.

“Shocked at your response ML Khattar Ji,” Singh says, according to ANI. “It’s the farmers who’ve to be convinced on MSP, not me. You should’ve tried to talk to them before their Dilli Chalo. And if you think I’m inciting farmers then why are Haryana farmers also marching to Delhi?”

4.20 pm: A gathering of women hold a sit-in protest on the National Highway-54 to show their anger against the Centre’s policies, reports The Indian Express.

4.15 pm: Aam Aadmi Party legislator Raghav Chadha quotes BR Ambedkar as he expresses his disappointment with the government’s decision to use force, tear gas and water cannons on protesting farmers.

4.11 pm: More visuals of the heavy security arrangements made by the Delhi Police at the Singhu border between the Capital and Haryana.

4.03 pm: Sonipat Inspector General Sandeep Khirwar says Section 144 of the Criminal Code of Procedure, which bans large gatherings, has been imposed in the district to tackle the law and order situation, reports Times Now.

3.55 pm: Delhi Police personnel have been deployed in large numbers in the border areas of the national Capital, as farmers continue their march against the Centre’s farm laws.

Five sand-laden trucks have been stationed at Singhu border to stop tractors being driven by the protestors, according to PTI. Also, drones have been deployed for security purposes, police said. The Delhi Police say that the borders have not been sealed, but that all vehicles entering the Capital are being checked.

Heavy police deployment seen at the Singhu border. (Credit: PTI)

3.52 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar appeals to farmers to end their agitations.

3.31 pm: A back and forth has ensued between Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh over the ongoing farmers protests. In a series of tweets, Khattar accuses Singh of “inciting innocent farmers”. Khattar says he will leave politics if his claims about the minimum support price remaining intact turn out to be false.

Khattar claims that he has been trying to contact Singh for the last three days, but the Punjab chief minister has been unreachable. “Is this how serious you are for farmer’s issues?” he asks. “You’re only tweeting and running away from talks, Why?”

2.36 pm: Heavy traffic prevailed at Kalindi Kunj near the Delhi-Noida border as farmers continue their protest march.

2.22 pm: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweets that the farmers of India stand firmly against the “brutality of the Narendra Modi government”.

1.49 pm: Security has been beefed up near the Delhi-Ghaziabad border as farmers continue to march towards the Capital. Several of them have been detained on the way.

PTI photo
PTI photo

1.43 pm: Haryana Police use water cannons and tear gas shells on protestors, as they try to break through the police barricades put up near the Sadopur border in Ambala.

1.39 pm: The Delhi Police is arresting protestors who took shelter in Gurudwaras of Delhi, reports The Indian Express.

1.35 pm: A group of around 20 farmers, who had gathered near Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi, have been detained, District Commissioner of Police (North) Anto Alphonse, tells NDTV.

1.30 pm: Yadav says he is being taken to an undisclosed location after being detained by the Gurugram police.

1.25 pm: Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, who was detained by the Gurugram police few moments ago for violating coronavirus-related restrictions, accuses the Haryana government of hypocrisy and of selectively targeting its critics, reports NDTV.

“Must be a strange pandemic,” he says. “Only days ago, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister [Dushyant Chautala] held a rally following no social distancing or masks, no pandemic act restrictions then? None during the Bihar elections either – why then for farmers protest?”

1.23 pm: Farmers are being detained near the Delhi-Rajasthan border, reports India Today.

1.20 pm: Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav was taken into preventive custody at Rathiwas village here off National Highway-48 along with a dozen farmer leaders and protestors, reports The Hindu.

Yadav says it was a moment of pride for all those being detained and arrested for protesting against the “three black farm laws”. “It is an irony that the farmers are being deprived of their basic constitutional right to go to national Capital and protest on the Constitution Day,” he says.

1.12 pm: The police have put up a maze of barbed wires near the Delhi-Noida border to stop the farmers from entering the Capital, reports The Indian Express.

1.03 pm: Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) General Secretary Jagmohan Singh tells The Hindu that if the farmers from Punjab are prevented to enter Haryana to participate in the protests, they would undertake a week-long sit-in protest near the border areas.

Another farmer leader said that if the Haryana government continued to be adamant on not allowing farmers from Punjab to enter the state, roads leading to Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh will be blocked.

“The way we are being stopped from reaching Delhi, it seems Punjab and its people are not citizens of India,” Nirbhay Singh, senior leader of Kirti Kisan Union tells The Hindu. “Barbed wires have been put up at many places at the Haryana border, which gives an impression that it’s Attari-Wagah border,”

12.56 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh implores his Haryana counterpart, Manohar Khattar, to let the protesting farmers cross the highways peacefully, and not “push them to the brink”. “Let them take their voice to Delhi peacefully,” he tweets, as he condemns the use of force against the protestors.

12.51 pm: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi criticises the Narendra Modi government’s use of water cannons on farmers in biting cold weather. “Instead of listening to the voice of the farmers who are protesting against laws that snatched the support price from them, the BJP government attacks them with water cannons in the cold,” she tweets.

12.47 pm: Which lines of the Delhi Metro are shut?

Delhi metro services to neighbouring cities of the Capital will remain suspended till 2 pm, meaning that no services will be available from Anand Vihar to Vaishali, and New Ashok Nagar to Noida City Centre during this period.

The metro services will also be suspended between Sultanpur and Guru Dronacharya metro stations.

However, regular metro services will remain available in the entire section of Airport and Rapid Metro lines.

12.40 pm: More visuals from Haryana, near the Karna Lake area in Karnal.

12.34 pm: Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, who is marching with the farmers, says he has been stopped near the Bilaspur-Jaipur Highway.

12.31 pm: Undeterred by the cold, water cannons and tear gas, farmers continue to push forward with their march, visuals from India Today show.

12.29 pm: While farmers continue to march towards Delhi, simultaneous protests are being held by members of 10 central trade unions, who have given a call for a nationwide strike. The workers say they are protesting against the Centre’s “anti-farmer and anti-labour policies”.

Read more here

Ten central trade unions observe Bharat bandh today; transport, banking services to be affected

Protestors of various trade unions gather near Jantar Mantar in Delhi amid heavy police deployment. (Credit: Vijayata Lalwani/ Scroll.in)

12.03 pm: Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav says he would like to apologise to commuters facing troubles due to the farmers’ march, NDTV reports. “Farmers are fighting for their lives and livelihoods, please put up with us, forgive us,” he says.

11.51 am: The farmers say the Haryana Police trying to suppress peaceful protesters is condemnable, PTI reports. “We are protesting in a peaceful manner, but they want to prevent us from using our democratic right to protest,” one of the protesting farmers tells the news agency.

11.41 am: The protesting farmers throw stones at the police.

11.35 am: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticises the use of force on the farmers. “The farmers are protesting against the Centre’s three agricultural laws,” he tweets. “Instead of rolling back the bills, the farmers are being stopped from protesting peacefully. Water cannons are being used on them. Such atrocity on farmers in wrong.”

11.34 am: The police use water canons on the protesting farmers near Ambala in Haryana.

11.27 am: The farmers dismantle barricades at the Shambhu border near Ambala.

11.25 am: Haryana has sealed borders with Punjab on Thursday and Friday. Security arrangements were put in place with barricades, water cannons and riot vehicles kept ready to thwart the protest march, reported NDTV. Prohibitory orders will be implemented in the state. Bus service going to and coming from Punjab were also suspended for the next two days.

Protestors from Punjab camped at Delhi’s border with Haryana for the night. The farmers, who are carrying ration, wood, vegetables, for the demonstration, said they will hold sit-in protests wherever stopped. BKU (Ekta-Ugarhan) General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said they are “ready for the battle, which may last long”.

11.20 am: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said that no train will cross borders to enter Gurugram, Noida, and other NCR towns till 2 pm on Thursday.

“Due to kisan rally call for Delhi, on the request of Delhi Police and to avoid overcrowding in view of ongoing Covid pandemic, services will be regulated tomorrow from resumption early in the morning till 2 pm through loops,” DMRC tweeted. “After 2 pm, services will run on all lines from end to end.”

11.10 am: Farmers from 500 groups will march to the Capital through five highways. In East Delhi, local and paramilitary forces will guard major roads and small borders. “There’s heavy deployment at Ghazipur border, DND and Chilla,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said. The police official added that the borders weren’t sealed and they were allowing people to go, and will create traffic diversions for the public.

11 am: Farmers from Punjab assembled at Haryana’s border with Delhi on Thursday morning, following which the police in the national Capital stepped up their patrol and said that they had denied all requests from farmers’ groups.

On Wednesday, thousands of farmers from Haryana’s Ambala district began a protest march towards Delhi against the Centre’s new agriculture laws. The farmers were undeterred even as the Haryana Police set up road barricades and diversions on the highways to prevent them from reaching the national Capital as part of their “Delhi Chalo’’ march. The protesting farmers have threatened to block all roads to Delhi if authorities stop them during their march.

The new farming laws

The three ordinances – Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Assurance and Farm Service Ordinance 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 – were passed in September. They were signed into laws by President Ram Nath Kovind on September 27.

Weeks later, protests against the laws continue to be staged in many parts of the country. Taken together, the three legislations loosen regulations on the sale, pricing and storage of agricultural produce. They allow farmers to sell outside mandis notified by the Agricultural Produce Market Committee. They enable contract farming through deals with private sector companies. They take food items like cereals and pulses off the list of essential commodities, lifting stock limits on such produce.

The government claims the new laws would give farmers the freedom to sell in the open market. But farmers disagree. They say the laws will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, leave farmers to the mercy of market forces and threaten food security.

The central government has asked farmers, who want the new farm laws to not be implemented, for a second round of negotiations on December 3. The representatives of farmers’ unions from Punjab on November 13 met Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar after being invited for talks.