Protesters allowed to .Kisan Sangharsh Samiti convener but with police escort

Concrete slabs and a barbed wire fence await protesting farmers heading to New Delhi on Thursday

In biting cold, cops use water cannons on farmers to foil ‘Delhi chalo’ march

"Although the police have tried to stop us with force, barricades and water cannon, we've made a decision to stay the course to make sure the government listens to the voice of millions of farmers", said protester Sukrampal Dhayana.

Further, the Haryana farmers arranged way for the protesters even from their fields. As the situation stands, farmers are staying at multiple places in Haryana and Punjab.

Farmers fear that after leaving them to market forces and weakening regulated markets, the government will gradually scale down the purchase of rice and wheat at minimum support prices.

"No government in the world can stop the farmers who are fighting the battle of truth", the former Congress chief said.

At two places, farmers breached the barricades put up by the police and began marching towards Delhi.

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They resumed their march early Friday, unfazed by overnight rain and chilly winter temperatures.

In Jalaun, farmers blocked Jhansi-Mirzapur highway but the police later managed to restore the traffic there. A group of farmers was seen throwing stones at police personnel and damaging police barricades. There were no immediate reports of injuries. After confrontations at Delhi's borders, during which they faced teargas and water cannons, the earlier groups were allowed to enter the city and continue their protest at Burari ground. We are witnessing the end of the right to democratic protest.

The AIKSCC in a press statement has said, "The government of India had to surrender to the will and resolve of farmers of India, to march into the National Capital, to voice their demands".

As of Friday morning, metro stations in New Delhi are closed due to the protests. As the protests gained momentum, the Delhi police even sought permission to use the city's stadiums as temporary jails - a request that was denied by the local state government.

Tomar together with Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting with agitating Punjab farmers on November 13 and another round of talks is scheduled for December 3.

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Hear more about this in our weekly India Diary.

"The voice of farmers can not be muzzled indefinitely", Singh wrote on Twitter. "The government is committed to the welfare of farmers and we are ready for talks".

Among the leaders who were detained or arrested while attempting to go towards Delhi were Yogendra Yadav coming to Delhi with farmers from Haryana; Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, who was leading a convoy of farmers from Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu; and Kakkaji who was arrested near Majnu ki Tila Gurudwara in North Delhi.

The Punjab CM said: "As for endangering lives during Covid-19, have you forgotten it was the BJP-led Central government that pushed through those farm laws amid the pandemic, uncaring about the impact they'd have on our farmers?"

Farmers have always been seen as integral to India, where agriculture supports more than half of the country's 1.3 billion people.

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