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Farmers’ protests | Pressure mounts on protesters at Ghazipur border

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait addresses protesters at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghazipur, New Delhi on January 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

The standoff between the Ghaziabad administration and farmer unions continued at the Ghazipur border late on Thursday following orders to vacate the site.

After the Additional District Magistrate served a notice under section 133 of CrPC, District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey gave the unions time till midnight to vacate the spot that has been the centre for anti-farm law protests for more than two months. With a heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces, the U.P. Gate turned into a police cantonment. Section 144 was also imposed at the site.

Senior officers of the Ghazipur administration leaving after meeting BKU leader Rakesh Tikait at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghazipur, New Delhi on January 28, 2021.

Senior officers of the Ghazipur administration leaving after meeting BKU leader Rakesh Tikait at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghazipur, New Delhi on January 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

 

The farmer leaders repeatedly made emotional appeals from the stage to the protestors to stay put but the numbers gradually thinned out as the evening progressed.

An emotional Rakesh Tikait, leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said he would not leave the site, adding that he feared for the safety of the farmers if he left. He reminded the police that the SC had not passed any order on the removal of protest. “The district administration could not be bigger than the SC. We would move the SC against the district administration tomorrow,” he said.

 

Mr Tikait alleged that in the name of arrest there was a plot to eliminate him. “We want a judicial inquiry into the Red Fort incident. Deep Sidhu has already been socially boycotted,” he said.

Sources in the administration said it was a matter of time before the site was vacated. “We are trying to carry out the process peacefully. Farmers are packing up. There are some women in the tents and the langars will take some time to be vacated,” said Shailendra Singh, ADM City Ghaziabad.

He said the leaders were trying to delay the process to save their skin. “There is visual evidence that proves one of the leader's presence at the Red Fort during the Republic Day clashes,” he alleged. Sources in the administration said farmer leaders were negotiating for safe passage with them while taking a tough stand on the stage.

Earlier leaders of Bhartiya Kisan Union alleged that the administration was trying to vitiate the atmosphere by creating a BJP sponsored violence at the protest site. Dharmendra Malik, media incharge of the BKU claimed that the BJP MLA from Loni was seen at the site with his followers and had tried to intimidate the farmers. He said the process started late on Wednesday night when the electricity supply was cut and CCTV cameras were gradually removed.

Mr Pandey refuted the charge and said they were local businessmen who wanted to get the road vacated.

Prashant Kumar, ADG (law & order) said, the perpetrators of Delhi violence would not be allowed to take shelter in the State.

Later, Mr Tikait decided to sit on an indefinite fast. He said he would only drink water from his village. Meanwhile, his elder brother Naresh Tikait has called a for a mahapanchayat in their village in Muzaffarnagar and appealed to farmers from western U.P. to reach Ghazipur in support.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 4:36:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-protests-ghaziabad-administration-asks-farmers-to-vacate-up-gate/article33686350.ece

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