Security was beefed at Singhu Border where farmers have been protesting for more than 60 days now after R-day violence. (Credit: ANI)
NEW DELHI: Law and order agencies moved in on protests sites seeking to vacate Delhi border points where the farmers have camped for more than 60 days now protesting against the new farm laws. Even as authorities warn of forceful eviction, farmers continue to arrive at various protests sites from neighbouring states.
On Friday, at some protest sites, locals clashed with farmers demanding them to leave as the agitators lost favour since the violence on the Republic Day.
Thousands of farmers attend mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar to back BKU
Tens of thousands of farmers gathered in Muzaffarnagar town on Friday to attend a mahapanchayat in support of the Bharatiya Kisan Union-led protest against the Centre’s new farm laws in Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.
A day after BKU leader Rakesh Tikait broke down at Ghazipur and tension spiralled amid fears that the farmers who had been camping there for two months would be forcibly removed by the local administration, all roads in western Uttar Pradesh it seemed led to Muzaffarnagar.
Singhu turns into fortress; No one allowed to enter protest site
Multi-layered security arrangements, barricades put everywhere and all entry points sealed, Singhu border, the nerve-centre of the ongoing farmers protest with thousands of security personnel seen marching at the site, turned into a fortress on Friday. The heightened security measures and restrictions have been brought into place after violence on Republic Day that left 394 policemen injured and one protestor dead. No one, even media personnel, is allowed to enter the protest site with the area cordoned off by multiple concrete barricades and intermodal containers.
While there was a sense of unease among some protestors, nothing changed at the respective stages of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti (KMSC), where decibel levels, courtesy the fiery speeches, were high like before.
Farmers refuse to vacate Ghazipur protest site
Farmers staging anti-Agri law protest at Ghazipur border on Friday said that they do not accept administration notice to vacate the protest site and will not leave until these laws are repealed by the government. “We do not accept the notices given by the government. No returning back to the homes until and unless the laws are taken back. We are protesting here peacefully,” said a farmer from Rampur district.
Locals clash with farmers at Singhu
Delhi Police fired tear gas shells and also resorted to mild lathi-charge on Friday after the Delhi-Haryana’s Singhu border witnessed clashes between the agitating farmers and the locals, who wanted the area to be cleared immediately. Hundreds of locals arrived at the protest site and asked farmers to clear the spot alleging that their presence was creating trouble. Following this, there was stone pelting between both the groups. The Delhi Police and the security personnel deployed at the Singhu border had to resort to firing tear gas shells to disperse the crowd at the protest site. A Delhi Police SHO was injured in scuffle at Singhu border.
More farmers pour into protest site at Ghazipur border
Crowds swelled at the Ghazipur border on Friday as around 1000 farmers from western Uttar Pradesh joined the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members who have stayed put on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway to demand repeal of Agri laws, while several farmers from Haryana decided to move towards Delhi borders to join the stir. Notwithstanding the Ghaziabad administration’s ultimatum to the protestors to vacate the UP Gate protest site, more farmers from western Uttar Pradesh districts such as Meerut, Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad and Bulandshahr reached the UP Gate early morning.
More farmers from Haryana to head towards protest sites
Several farmers from parts of Haryana on Friday decided to head towards Delhi’s borders to join the ongoing agitation against Agri laws, saying the government’s moves against peasant leaders will not weaken their protest. A number of farmers from Jind, Rohtak, Kaithal, Hisar, Bhiwani and Sonipat will be going towards various protest sites at Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, farmer leaders from Haryana claimed.
Delhi CM Kejriwal voices support for farmers
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fully backs ongoing farmers’ protest, calling their demands valid and attempts to discredit them completely wrong said, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Raghav Chadha visited farmers at Singhu border.
Rakesh Tikait alleges BJP members masqueraded as farmers
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait on Friday alleged that BJP leaders and workers masqueraded as farmers and indulged in vandalism in the national capital on January 26 to malign their image. “Two BJP MLAs came along with 400 people to malign the image of farmers on January 26. They tried to target Sikh people and show them as anti-national. We do not trust the UP government after this,” said Tikait on Friday while addressing media. He also criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for cutting off the electricity and water supply at the border. Earlier, Delhi Police had issued a notice to Tikait asking him to explain why legal action should not be taken against him for breaching the agreement with police regarding the tractor rally on January 26.
RSS men working against farmers movement: Satnam Singh Pannu
Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) leader Satnam Singh Pannu on Friday claimed that the central government is sending Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliated people to instigate clashes at the protest site. “Modi government is using sick tactics to delegitimise our movement. They are sending the RSS people to instigate clashes here; they did it two times yesterday. We will make sacrifices but not go back until and unless the laws are repealed,” Pannu said.
(With inputs from agencies)