Workers under the watch of police personnel on Monday were seen hooking iron rods between two rows of cement barriers on a flank of the main highway at the Singhu border to further restrict the movement of protesters agitating against the new farm laws at the site.
Another portion of the highway at the Delhi-Haryana border is practically blocked now as a makeshift cement wall has come up there.
A worker drilling rods in cross-formation between two rows of solid barriers said, “The other flank was done yesterday. Cement is to be poured in the space between the barriers on this flank to make a makeshift wall”.
The move comes days after the violent clashes between some protesters and police on January 26 during the tractor parade by the agitating farmers.
The section of the highway at the Singhu border, which has been the epicentre of the farmers” protests for over 60 days, had also seen a clash recently between farmers and a group of people who claimed to be local residents.
On Monday, the Delhi side of the Singhu border saw a sparse crowd of protesters while the Haryana side was dominated by vociferous speeches denouncing the new farm laws and clarion calls to infuse a new sense of solidarity in the agitation after the Republic Day incident.
Security personnel from the paramilitary forces, RAF and CRPF, were seen in relatively less numbers compared to the past few days but a large number of police personnel manned the stretch spanking a mile from the protest site.
Besides the makeshift wall on the highway, a small trench was also dug up earlier across an inner street a little off the highway and cement barricades put up on both the sides.
The protesting farmers and leaders at a tent, however, showed no signs of being cowed down and asserted that “these barricades put up around us can”t cage our spirit”.
All of them alleged that on January 26, “a conspiracy was made to malign this movement” and “defame it”, and more such attempts are being made while asserting that the agitation has “come out stronger” now.
Balwinder Singh Sirsa, a farmer leader from Sirsa, Haryana, exhorted people to not get demotivated by what happened during the January 26 incident, as it was “orchestrated by some people to denigrate the movement”.
A woman protester from Haryana, addressing a huge gathering from the dais, said the alleged conspiracy on that day has “failed to weaken this movement” and has rather injected “a new lease of life” in it.
Randhir Singh, 85, a farmer from Haryana, also addressed the gathering saying “I have worked with legends Mahendra Singh Tikait and I know how Jat movement was weakened few years ago”.
“What happened on January 26 was a conspiracy. It was not done by farmers but all was part of a smear campaign bring run to defame the movement,” he alleged.
“We are not terrorists or Khalistani. We are fighting for our rights. Attempts are still being made to defame and weaken us. But Tikait”s tears have awakened the farmers of Haryana, UP, and other states,” he said. PTI