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At Ground Zero: A pakka morcha set up as farmers dig in their heels

In the evening, the farmers started settling up "pakka morcha" (permanent structures) with iron frames and waterproof covers on the pattern of similar structures at Delhi borders.

Besides the main protest site in front of the Mini Secretariat, the farmers are spread over nearly one km area where they are camping in groups. In the morning, the farmers erected a large tent having a capacity of nearly 10,000 persons right in front of the Mini Secretariat’s main gate.

In the evening, the farmers started settling up “pakka morcha” (permanent structures) with iron frames and waterproof covers on the pattern of similar structures at Delhi borders.

Gurjant Virk, who had received injuries on his nose in the police lathicharge and has complained of partial loss of vision, said: “Today, I was discharged from the hospital after 10 days and I came to the dharna venue instead of going to my home. I will not go back home till the farmers’ demands are met”.
In the morning, the area quickly took the form of a permanent dharna site as farmers erected a large tent, people from a nearby shrine started serving langar, and some youngsters set up a kiosk to dispense medical aid.

No grouse with cops: Tikait
Addressing the gathering, SKM leader Rakesh Tikait said the farmers have no grouse against the police. “Last night, the cops also slept here with us. Our enemy is not present here. And we must be careful of his machinations.”

On the administration’s move to arrest farmer leaders Tuesday evening, Tikait said the administration could have declared Anaj Mandi a jail. He cited the example of Mumbai where the Azad maidan, was converted into a jail for over 50,000 protesters. “Had the Karnal administration done that, we could have brought our animals here. It would still have been a big win for us.” Last evening, the protesters had deflated the tyres of the police bus that farmer leaders had boarded for courting arrest. Tikait pointed to the yawning gap between the officialdom and the common man in Haryana unlike in UP. He claimed UP officials and cops sit with them on the ground for talks.

‘Ploy to shift agitation from Delhi border’
Earlier in the day, Tikait said Haryana CM M L Khattar wants to shift the agitation from the Delhi border to Karnal. “We have surrounded Delhi from five sides. A large number of people there are from Haryana. We must understand the CM’s ploy and continue our mobilisation on Delhi borders as well.”

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