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Farmers faced tear gas and water cannons along the Delhi-Haryana border and clashed with police on Friday as they marched towards the national capital as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' protest against the Centre's new farm laws.
The Delhi Police used tear gas shells to disperse a group of farmers who had reached the Singhu border, while at the Tigri border security personnel used water cannons to disperse farmers trying to enter the national capital.
Plumes of smoke were seen, as security personnel used multiple rounds of tear gas to disperse the protesting farmers at the Singhu border.
At the Tigri border, farmers clashed with police and they also tried to remove a truck, which was placed as a barricade, by tying it to a tractor with the help of a chain.
Multi-layer barricading was in place at the Singhu border --- a direct route from Punjab to Delhi, to prevent farmers from entering the national capital.
Drones are also being used, by security personnel to keep a strict vigil on the movement of protestors in bordering areas.
A police officer said, "We are using tear gas to disperse protesting farmers. We are also informing them that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, any kind of rally and dharna is not allowed."
"They have been denied permission and legal action will be taken against them if they still try to enter Delhi," the officer further said.
In view of the march, the Delhi Police has sought permission from the AAP government to use the city's nine stadiums as temporary jails, government sources said.
Traffic was disrupted, in many parts of the city due to the protest.
Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police on Friday posted a series of tweets asking people to avoid outer Ring Road, Mukarba Chowk, GTK Road, NH-44 and Singhu Border in view of the 'Delhi Chalo' march by farmers from Punjab against the farm laws.
"In view of the rally/ march/protest by All India Kishan Sangharsh co-ordination committee, the traffic police is diverting traffic from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy in this area," it said
The traffic police also requested commuters to avoid Mukarba Chowk Delhi as there is diversion and vehicles are not allowed towards Singhu border. However, the inter-state vehicles are advised to take Western/Eastern peripheral expressway.
"Tikri border is completely closed for traffic movement by local police. Traffic intending to go towards Haryana is also closed. All motorists are advised to avoid this route in view of the protest by Kishan Sangharsh committee," the Delhi Traffic Police said in another tweet.
In view of the march, checking of vehicles has also been intensified at the Delhi-Gurgaon border leading to heavy traffic jams.
Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, have announced they will go to Delhi through several routes -- Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa. Tension was escalating at all the border points.
Farmers have assembled near the borders in tractor-trolleys laden with rations and essentials for the march. Authorities in Haryana have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in several parts of the state to prevent assembly of the protesters.
Farmers' bodies said they will hold a dharna wherever they are stopped from moving towards the national capital.
Punjab farmers are demanding the repeal of the new farm laws, which, they said, should be replaced with another set of legislations framed after wider consultation with the stakeholders. They also want a guarantee on the minimum support price. (PTI)