Following the breakdown of a negotiation session with two Union ministers, farmers scheduled their protest march to Delhi on February 13, advocating for legislation to ensure a minimum support price (MSP) for their agricultural produce. Central to their demands is the implementation of a law that guarantees MSP for all crops, which serves as a vital safety net for farmers navigating market volatility.
Other significant matters in dispute pertain to the annulment of the Electricity Act 2020, recompense for farmers perished in Lakhimpur Kheri, and the dismissal of charges against individuals engaged in the farmers' agitation. Although consensus was attained on these matters post-midnight, the farmers remain resolute, affirming the pledges made by the Centre two years ago have not been honoured.
On February 11, officials invoked provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), implementing restrictions on assemblies near the city outskirts in anticipation of the scheduled "Dilli Chalo" march by farmers on February 13.
In anticipation of the scheduled march, authorities have strengthened security measures at the national capital borders, particularly at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur. The deployment of a substantial number of police and paramilitary personnel, along with extensive barricading, has effectively transformed these border areas into fortifications, aimed at thwarting the entry of protesting farmers into Delhi.
Haryana officials have implemented rigorous measures in preparation for the planned 'Delhi Chalo' march, closing off the state's border with Punjab at Shambhu near Ambala district. Concrete barriers, sandbags, razor wire, and anti-riot vehicles have been positioned to obstruct the roadway.
The impact of the farmers' impending march is palpable in Gurugram, where vehicular movement has come to a standstill, resulting in massive traffic congestion. At the Kapasehra border of Delhi, where vehicles undergo checks related to the farmers' ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, a congestion stretching around 5 kilometres along the Old Delhi Road has emerged.
Meanwhile, heightened vigilance prevails at the Singhu border in anticipation of the farmers' march towards Delhi. With three out of four lanes of the flyover at Singhu border closed on February 13 morning, traffic has been severely affected, leading to congestion and long delays. Additionally, security forces have been bolstered on all borders, including Singhu, compared to the previous day.
As a result of the announcement of the farmers' march, police have imposed several restrictions, halting vehicular movement on the Delhi-Gurugram Expressway, causing a traffic jam extending approximately 10 kilometres. Similarly, on the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) route, long traffic jams are reported due to security measures and traffic arrangements made in anticipation of the farmers' march. Barricades line the route, and both police and paramilitary personnel are deployed, resulting in sluggish movement of vehicles.