New Delhi: Waterlogged tents, soaked firewood and blankets, and cold conditions – farmers camping at Delhi borders in protest against the new farm laws had a difficult morning on Sunday due to overnight rains.
The continuous downpour led to waterlogging at agitation venues and waterproof tents did not help much, according to the protesters.
Farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar, who is a member of Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, said farmers have waterproof tents but they cannot protect them from biting cold and waterlogging.
“The situation is very bad at protest sites due to rain which has caused waterlogging. There is so much cold after the rains, but the government is not able to see our misery,” he said.
Gurwinder Singh, who is camping at the Singhu Border, said there is waterlogging at some places as civic facilities are not up to the mark but asserted that the weather will not dampen the spirit of farmers, who have been protesting for over a month.
“Despite facing several problems, we will not move from here until our demands are met,” he said.
According to a MeT Department official, heavy rainfall was reported in areas across Delhi and minimum temperatures have increased due to clouding and easterly winds.
“Safdarjung observatory recorded a minimum temperature of 9.9 degrees Celsius, an increase of 6.7 degrees with 25 mm rain. Palam observatory recorded a minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celsius with 18 mm rain. Rain with hail storm is expected until January 6,” the official said.
Thousands of farmers, have been camping at three Delhi border points – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – for more than a month, demanding the repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP) regime to continue, among other issues.
Bharatiya Kisan Union Ugrahan leader Sukhdev Singh, whose union is leading the protest at the Tikri border, said arrangements made by farmers to brave the cold weather are not helping much because of rains and subsequent waterlogging.
Veerpal Singh, a protesting farmer, said their blankets, clothes and wood are soaked.
“Our clothes are soaked due to waterlogging caused by rains. Besides, we are facing difficulties to cook food as rainwater has also soaked firewood. We do have an LPG cylinder but not everyone here has it,” he said.
Dharmveer Yadav, who is camping at the Ghazipur border protest site, said farmers will not move an inch from their agitation venues.
“We are ready to face any problem, be it heavy or storm, but we will not leave this place in any condition until our demands are met,” Yadav said.
Rainwater also entered camps at the Burari ground and the protesters were seen draining the water out and rearranging their belongings to prevent them from soaking in water.