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Commuter tales from locked up Delhi: 'I stand to lose my daily wages'

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
February 14, 2024 17:17 IST
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To visit her gynaecologist in Delhi, over eight-month pregnant Madhu Kumari on Wednesday trudged wearily on foot trying to bypass the Singhu border made impregnable by the police using multi-layered barricades.

IMAGE: Police barricades put up at the Singhu border on the second day of the farmers' protest, in New Delhi, February 14, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

As a precaution, the streets and bylanes connecting Sonipat in Haryana to Delhi near the Singhu border were dug up to prevent the farmer protesters' 'Delhi Chalo' march from entering the national capital.


The protesting farmers, demanding legal guarantee of minimum support price were held back by the police near Ambala.

Madhu, 30, accompanied by her husband and two other relatives, was one of the large number of commoners forced to face hardships due to the sealed border and heavy deployment of police and para-military personnel in the wake of the farmers' march.

"The bus dropped us way behind Singhu border which has been closed by the police. They told us that we have to walk towards the other side to get another mode of transport to Delhi," she said.

The commuters moving between Delhi and Haryana were either stuck up for hours on the closed borders or walked on foot to reach their respective destinations.

Their plight was further aggravated by trenches dug up on the bylanes and streets at the border to prevent the movement of vehicles and people impossible.

The police officials said some streets were still open for the people to cross the border but ultimately they will also be barricaded if the farmers reach the Singhu border.

Sonipat commissioner of police B Satheesh Balan said multiple barricades were laid at several checkpoints between Ambala and Singhu border.

"I do not think they will be able to cross this area but we are constantly monitoring the situation. An alternate route has been provided for the movement of ambulances," he said.

The Delhi police officers and their Haryana counterparts were in touch to discuss the emerging situation, he said.

Big territorial signage installed at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border was taken down using machines on Wednesday.

According to the police, this is to ensure that they do not obstruct the way when tear gas shells are fired by security personnel towards the protesting farmers.

The traffic from Delhi towards Singhu border was minimal due to the restrictions.

Movement of vehicles was shut completely on the Singhu border flyover on Wednesday.

Seven layers of barbed wires, spikes, concrete blocks, containers and four-five layers of concrete barricades on both sides of the flyover have ben put up.

Drones are being used for monitoring the situation.

All the vehicles including buses from Sonipat were stopped near the sealed border and the people walked on foot to reach Delhi and use other modes of transport, mostly autos and e-rickshaws to reach their destinations.

A man accompanied by his wife pleaded with the police personnel to be allowed to get past the barricades, saying he had to go to Rajouri Garden where one of their relatives had passed away.

A courier service worker Buland Singh said he was stuck up at Singhu border since 2 am on Wednesday, while trying to reach IGI airport to collect parcels for delivery.

"I called up my office and asked what to do since movement is not allowed. They asked me to find a way and move past the border. But I am completely frustrated as the movement is not allowed and I stand to lose my daily wage if I do not get the parcels," Singh said.

The daily wage earners and factory workers across the Singhu border faced hard times reaching their work places at factories, warehouses and banquet halls and other such establishments due to the sealed borders and restricted movement.

"I have to reach my factory in Delhi but there is so much problem here at the border. Similar was the situation in the farmers' protest last time in 2021. I do not know how will I reach my factory if this situation continues," rued a factory worker Rahul from Sonipat.

The Singhu border was closed from November 2020 to December 2021, with farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states staging a sit-in there in protest against three farm laws brought by the Centre.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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