Police are on high alert in Delhi on Saturday ahead of the three-hour nationwide blockade of state and national highways by farmers, who are intensifying their agitation against the three agricultural laws through the 'chakka jam'. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the farmers' unions protesting against the farm laws, said emergency and essential services such as ambulances and school buses will not be stopped during the 'chakka jam'.
However, farmers leaders have said the chakka jam, which will begin from 12pm to 3pm, will not affect Delhi. Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh will also not witness any road blockade, however, farmers who are protesting there have been asked to stay on standby, farm union leader Rakesh Tikait had confirmed. Tikait is the spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union and is among the leaders spearheading the farmers' movement.
In a bid to avoid the violence and chaos during the farmers' tractor parade on Republic Day, the Delhi Police is keeping a strict vigil in the city as it deployed thousands of personnel and additional forces. It said in a statement that around 50,000 personnel of the police, paramilitary and reserve forces are standing guard at various key points of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). At ITO intersection, multilayered security measurements were seen as police put out barbed wires over their barricades. Heavy barricading was also placed at Minto Road which is near the Red Fort.
The police have also deployed drone in the national capital to monitor the situation. At least 12 Metro stations in the national capital have also been put on alert.
The 'chakka jam' is being staged as a symbolic protest against the internet suspension and the extra security around the protest areas at Delhi borders. From November last year, thousands of farmers from different parts of the country, including Punjab, Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh, have been demonstrating against the three farm laws brought in by the Centre. Calling the agriculture reforms anti-farmers, the protesters are demanding a repeal of the laws. They are also demanding a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.