Farmers camp under flyover at Ghaziabad-Delhi border

Farmers protesting at Ghazipur on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Anuj Kumar

Hundreds of farmers under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union occupied the space beneath the flyover at the Ghaziabad-Delhi border on Saturday. They were protesting against the three farm laws and demanded that minimum support price be made mandatory by law.

Prepared for the long haul

The farmers parked tractors, trolleys and cars beneath the flyover. Rugs were spread, speakers were put up, hookahs were lit and preparation were being done to cook food at the site.

Earlier, they broke barriers at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border and entered Delhi on Saturday afternoon. Despite heavy security presence along the way, the Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Ghaziabad Police allowed them to proceed towards Delhi.

Delhi Police had given them permission to go to the Burari ground but the farmers wanted to go to Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Maidan.

Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said the breaking of barriers was “symbolic”.

He said there was no point going to Burari and that they would hold a sit-in dharna under the flyover and “wait for their farmer brothers from different districts of western Uttar Pradesh to join them to move further”.

“I expect a call from the government on Sunday but we are ready for the long haul,” he said. He also asked the administration to provide them mobile lavatories.

Wait and watch

“We told them that we would escort the farmers to the Burari ground but they refused. We also allowed them to take a couple of tractors with them but they decided to wait at the border. They broke the barrier inside the Uttar Pradesh border,” said Jasmeet Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Eastern District), who was negotiating with farmers till late evening. “The situation is under control. We are in touch with our counterparts in Uttar Pradesh,” he added.

As the farmers decided to stay beneath the flyover, he said, their presence did not affect the flow of traffic.

While the U.P. Police officials present on the ground said there was no permission to hold a protest beneath the flyover, they seemed in no mood to remove the protesting farmers.

Vijaypal Ghopla, a 74-year-old farmer from Meerut said this government felt that it was offering a mithai (farm laws). “We don’t want it and wouldn’t allow you to shove it down our throat. The farm laws have been designed to help a few corporates control the agriculture, sector,” he argued.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 6:35:57 AM |

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