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Farmers’ protests | Road blockade to exclude Delhi, Uttarakhand, U.P.

Farmers plant flowers at the barricades fixed by police at Ghazipur border in New Delhi on February 5, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The chakka jam or road blockade planned by farm unions on Saturday will exclude Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to ensure that the kind of violence that marred their Republic Day tractor parades is not repeated. 

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha leadership has also issued strict guidelines to ensure a “completely peaceful and non-violent” agitation in the rest of the country, with a specific appeal not to engage in any conflict with government authorities or other citizens.

 

“There will be no chakka jam program inside Delhi since all the protest sites are already in a chakka jam mode. All roads for entering Delhi will remain open except where farmers’ protest sites are already located,” the SKM statement on Friday said.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait which is leading the protest in U.P., and the Terai Kisan Sangathan, which includes a large number of the protesting farmers from Uttarakhand, said the chakka jam had been called off in those two States. BKU leader Rakesh Tikait told reporters he had inputs that violence could be fomented in U.P. and border areas of Uttarakhand by breaking windshields of cars during the chakka jam

Prevailing conditions in the two States are not conducive for the protest, said BKU-Tikait spokesperson Dharmendra Malik.

 

“Now, members of BKU will give a memorandum to district officials in these two States. In the rest of the country, the call for the chakka jam remains as it is,” he said, adding that there were also concerns about a harmful impact on ongoing agricultural work by sugarcane farmers. Mr Malik further said the move should be seen only as a preventive measure and not a sign of the weakening of movement.

“It has been decided to keep one lakh farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on standby,” Mr. Tikait said, in a later statement. The decision was taken after consultations with Balbir Singh Rajewal, who heads another faction of the BKU in Punjab and is a key decision-maker in the wider front of the SKM.

 

“There is a fear expressed by those at Ghazipur [protest site] that the BJP and RSS may cause some problems in the guise of farmers in those two States. That is their assessment,” said Darshan Pal Singh, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union, and a veteran Punjab leader who is another key player in the SKM. “The SKM itself has not called off the protest in these States. Demonstrations will happen. But the Tikait group and others there have said it is better not to have a chakka jam there,” he added.

Chakka jam will remain completely peaceful and non-violent. Protesters are asked to not to indulge in any conflict with the government official or ordinary citizens,” said the SKM guidelines. It added that emergency and essential services like ambulances, school buses and others will not be stopped.

Only National and State highways across the country will be jammed from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The programme will conclude with all farmers blowing the horns of their vehicles continuously for one minute at 3 p.m. to indicate “the unity of farmers”, said the SKM, which also invited all members of the public, who support farmers, to join in.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 1:49:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-body-says-no-chakka-jam-in-delhi-calls-for-peaceful-protests/article33761532.ece

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