CHANDIGARH: Punjab farmer bodies on Tuesday condemned the Haryana government's decision of sealing its borders with the state on November 26 and 27 in view of their protest march to Delhi over the Centre's farm laws.
The farmer groups said they are ready for their proposed march as it will be a 'historic' agitation in which women and youth will participate in large numbers.
The All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and various other factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union had given a call for the November 26-27 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the Centre for the scraping of the recently enacted three farm laws.
They announced that they would reach Delhi through five highways connecting the national capital and if they were stopped anywhere, they would hold 'dharna' there for an indefinite period.
"We strongly condemn the Haryana government's move of sealing the borders with Punjab. They have also taken several farmers leaders into preventive custody," said Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) chief Balbir Singh Rajewal.
How they could impose such restrictions to prevent farmers from moving towards the national capital, he asked.
On their proposed protest march, Rajewal said it will be a "historic" agitation.
"Farmers will move towards Delhi on their tractor-trailers," he said, adding that they have collected ration, tents, blankets and other essentials for the protest.
"Some farmers who stay at far off places have even left their homes today for participation in the protest march. They will stay at gurdwaras for a night and then move ahead," said Rajewal.
On a question over the Centre's invitation for another round of talks on December 3, Rajewal said a decision in this regard will be taken in the next meeting of farmer bodies.
Several political parties including the AAP and Akalis have extended their support to the farmers protest march.
The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) condemned the Haryana government for "using repressive tactics" against farmers proceeding to Delhi.
Meanwhile, Union minister Som Parkash appealed to agitating farmers to defer their protest march.
Representatives of the AIKSCC said farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other states will move towards Delhi.
BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said around two lakh farmers under their banner will go to Delhi through Khanauri and Dabwali areas.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said the state borders with Punjab will remain sealed on November 26 and 27.
The Haryana police have also issued an advisory, asking people to modify their travel plans.
The Delhi Police on Tuesday said legal action will be taken against the protesting farmers if they come to the city for any gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The farmers, who are protesting against the Centre's three new farm laws, will reach Delhi on November 26 through five highways connecting the national capital as part of the 'Delhi Chalo' march call.
The police, however, took to Twitter and said that no permission has been granted for any such gathering in the national capital.
"Farmer organisations from UP, Haryana, Uttarkhand, Rajasthan, Kerala & Punjab have called a march to Delhi on Nov 26 & 27. No gathering is permitted amid coronavirus. The permission has been rejected and it was communicated well in time to the organizers," the Delhi Police tweeted from its official handle.
"If protestors still come to Delhi, legal action will be initiated," it said.
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh and various factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union have joined hands and formed a Samyukta Kisan Morcha' to press the central government to scrap the three farm laws.
The protest has the support of over 500 farmer organisations.
A seven-member committee has also been formed to coordinate the operations of the Morcha.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that the 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 the laws be repealed.