Farmers protest: More traffic jams at Delhi border expected today
People coming to the national capital from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh faced traffic snarls at several border crossings as the Delhi Police on Thursday intensified vehicle checking in view of the 'Delhi Chalo' march by Punjab farmers against the Centre's farm laws.
Farmers from Punjab are scheduled to reach Delhi through five highways connecting the city as part of their march.
Tension spiralled at the Shambhu border in Haryana, around 215 km from Delhi, on Thursday as police used water cannons and teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers coming from Punjab who broke barricades, throwing some into a river, determined to enter Haryana as part of their march.
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Delhi Metro services from neighbouring NCR cities to the national capital have been suspended in view of the farmers' protest, officials said. However, metro services will be available from Delhi towards the National Capital Region (NCR) sections.
Senior police officials said that heavy deployment as been made on the Faridabad, Singhu and Gurgaon border crossings with Haryana and vehicle checking has been intensified as a precautionary measure in view of the protest march.
Vehicles are also being checked at the DND and National Highway-24 crossings with Uttar Pradesh, they said, adding that borders have not been sealed, but barricades and cement blocks have been placed to stop trucks and tractors of protesters.
Several commuters coming to the national capital from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh complained of traffic jams due to checking.
Rohit Tomar, an advocate, said, "I had to go to Noida regarding a case in the morning. While I was returning from there in the evening, there was heavy traffic at Delhi-Noida border."
"Police personnel were checking vehicles. I was stuck there for almost half an hour," he said.
Generally Abhishek Sinha, who works at a real estate company in Manesar in Haryana, said, "Generally it takes 40 to 45 minutes, but today it is showing over an hour. I commute everyday from Dwarka."
Priyanka Rai, who works in Gurgaon, said that she deboarded her metro train at Chhatarpur in Delhi as services have been suspended.
"I live in Ghaziabad and work in Gurgaon. I generally de-board at MG Road metro station and take an auto till my office. Today, I got information about a couple of metro stations being closed, following which I took a cab from Chhatarpur till my office," she said.
Delhi Police personnel have been deployed in large numbers at interstate border crossings as Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, have announced they will go to Delhi through several routes, including Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa.
Five sand-laden trucks have been stationed at the Singhu border to stop tractors being driven by the protesters, police said, adding that drones have been deployed for security purposes.
Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava visited the bordering areas and took stock of the situation there.
Jantar Mantar at central Delhi has been blocked with the barricades, police said.
"There is traffic at the borders as we are checking vehicles. However, the borders are not being sealed," a senior police officer said.