Farmers continue protest at Delhi border points for 3rd day, refuse to move to Burari ground
Thousands of farmers continued to protest the Centre's new farm laws at the Singhu and Tikri borders on Saturday blocking national highways for the third day as they refused to move to the designated protest site in north Delhi, a day after they clashed with security personnel who stopped them from entering the city.PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 28-11-2020 22:56 IST | Created: 28-11-2020 22:44 IST
Thousands of farmers continued to protest the Centre's new farm laws at the Singhu and Tikri borders on Saturday blocking national highways for the third day as they refused to move to the designated protest site in north Delhi, a day after they clashed with security personnel who stopped them from entering the city. The protesting farmers from Punjab also got support from their Uttar Pradesh counterparts when some groups from Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Ghaziabad gathered at the Ghazipur border and breached the first layer of barricades put up by the Delhi Police. They, however, later decided to move back a few metres and stay put there.
The police were using drones to keep a tight vigil on the protest site where 600 farmers had gathered after entering Delhi. At the Singhu border, protestors held a meeting and decided to stay put on Saturday night. They said a crucial meeting will be held on Sunday to decide their next course of action. "We held a meeting today and it was decided to stay put here. Tomorrow, there will be another meeting at 11 am and till then, we are at the Singhu border," Baljeet Singh Mahal, Jalandhar's unit president of Bhartiya Kisan Union Kadia, said.
During the day, numbers swelled at the Singhu border point as farmers gathered there were joined by more counterparts from Punjab and Haryana and they refused to move towards the Sant Nirankari Ground, one of the biggest in the national capital. A farmer leader said they would continue their protest at the border and will not move to the Burari Ground -- a site identified by the Delhi Police for holding demonstrations.
"We will not move from here (Singhu border) and continue our fight. We will not return home. Thousands of farmers have come from Punjab and Haryana to join the protest," the farmer said. "We will not go to the new protest site, and we will continue our protest at the national highway," another farmer said.
On Friday, hundreds of farmers entered the national capital to hold a peaceful protest at the Sant Nirankari Ground after facing teargas and water cannons and clashing with security personnel while thousands remained at border points, undecided whether to go to the demonstration site identified by police. The day witnessed police using teargas shells, water cannons and multi-layer barriers to block the protesters and the farmers pelting stones and breaking barricades in some places in their determination to push through as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march against the Centre's new farm laws.
A senior Delhi Police officer said around 200 farmers gathered at UP Gate (Ghazipur border) and most of them belonged to Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Ghaziabad. They first breached the first set of barricades placed at the border but later after talks with senior police officers, they moved back to the UP Gate, the officer said.
At Sant Nirankari Ground, there were around 600 farmers. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) Vijayanta Arya said "We are facilitating the movement of farmers who have come to Delhi. They are here at the designated ground. From our side, all the security arrangements are in place. We are in touch with the civic agencies for providing amenities that are required here." Playing the 'dafli' and singing songs about distress, a number of students from different universities also joined the farmers in their protest at the Delhi-Haryana border at Singhu. Arpan, a student from the Panjab University and a resident of Chandigarh, said she has joined the farmers' agitation as she felt an "emotional connection" with their land.
"We have come here along with farmers to support them. We have been living here with the farmers and are having food at the langars. We are also singing songs in Punjabi and Hindi to explain the condition of farmers," she said. Meanwhile, traffic was affected on key roads in Delhi as police kept the Singhu and Tikri borders closed for vehicular movement in view of the ongoing farmers' agitation.
The Delhi Traffic Police tweeted that traffic movement was not allowed from Azadpur and Outer Ring Road to the Singhu border. Farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm laws have expressed apprehension that the laws would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.
The Centre has invited several Punjab farmer organisations for another round of talks in Delhi in December.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)