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Farmers stage 'panchayats' against farm bills on Delhi-UP border; traffic hit in Noida, Ghaziabad

Hundreds of farmers sat on protests on the UP-Delhi border on Friday against the farm bills passed by Parliament after they were stopped by police personnel from moving towards the national capital, disrupting traffic in Noida and Ghaziabad.

PTI | Noida/Ghaziabad | Updated: 25-09-2020 18:59 IST | Created: 25-09-2020 18:59 IST
Farmers stage 'panchayats' against farm bills on Delhi-UP border; traffic hit in Noida, Ghaziabad

Hundreds of farmers sat on protests on the UP-Delhi border on Friday against the farm bills passed by Parliament after they were stopped by police personnel from moving towards the national capital, disrupting traffic in Noida and Ghaziabad. A heavy deployment of police personnel in riot gear was made to ward off any disturbance during the protest, a part of the nationwide demonstration against the three farm bills passed during the monsoon session.

Some organisations allege the bills are "anti-farmer", but the government argues that the farmers have been "misled" and the bills actually free them to sell their produce outside the APMC mandis. The farmers, who had come on foot, two-wheelers and tractor-trolleys, were stopped by police personnel at Noida Gate in Sector 14A near Chilla border by erecting barricades. Two other groups were stopped at Hapur chungi and Modinagar in Ghaziabad.

The farmers, who had gathered under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union, staged 'panchayats' to discuss their issues after being stopped from moving towards the national capital. The panchayats were addressed by regional farm leaders and BKU office-bearers. "Today's protest is part of a bigger statewide and nationwide agitation by farmers against the farm-sector-related bills passed in Parliament recently. The farmers are opposed to these 'black laws'. Our demand is that a law should be made that fixes the MSP as the lowest amount for purchasing crops from farmers," BKU's Meerut Zone president Pawan Khatana told PTI in Noida.

In Ghaziabad, the protestors led by BKU’s state unit vice president Rajbir Singh and secretary Harendra Nehra submitted a memorandum outlining their demands to Additional District Magistrate (City) Shailendra Kumar. Some members of BKU (Ambawat) staged a protest-march and raised slogans against the bills and handed over a memorandum to Assistant Superintendent of Police Keshav Kumar near Bhopura trisection at Loni road.

The gatherings disrupted traffic movement on the key roads in the two neighbouring districts adjoining Delhi. "Police personnel have been deployed at the Noida Gate to check the movement of protesters. The situation is under control. We are talking to the farmers and ensuring no law and order situation arises," Deputy Commissioner of Police, Noida, Rajesh S told PTI.

Ghaziabad SP (City) Abhishek Verma said security was beefed up in view of the situation and the law and order was in control. Earlier Friday, the Delhi Police too intensified deployment of personnel along border areas in view of the nationwide protest call given by various farmer associations.

Opposition parties and farmers in some states have been opposing the farm bills passed by parliament, calling it "anti-farmer", but the government has assured that the legislation would benefit crop-growers. The Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, now await presidential assent.


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