Protesting farmers at the Ghazipur border in East Delhi said Monday that only farmers will be allowed to come up on stage and no other issue will be raised from the platform.
Hundreds of farmers, most of them from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have been protesting for 20 days at the Delhi-UP border.
The protesters are either affiliated to various farmers’ unions — such as the Bharatiya Kisan Union, All India Kisan Sabha, Rashtriya Kisan Samiti, UP Kisan Sabha, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha — or non-affiliates, and have assembled at the protest site on one of the lanes of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway.
Jagtar Singh Bajwa (40), a farmer from Bazpur in Uttara hand and one of the stage-managers, said, “We are following three rules — this is not a political protest or rally, so we are not allowing political people; we are not allowing anyone, including farmers, to raise any violent or communal slogans; and the podium is only for discussing the farmers’ opinions on the three farm bills.”
The stage has a large poster of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, which Bajwa said was an inspiration to the farmers and represented the zeal and strength of the youth.
“Bhagat Singh bled for this country — we are inspired by him, but the lathi we are carrying is that of Gandhi. We are protesting in a Gandhivaadi manner, in peace,” he said.
One of the speakers, Sunil, from the Bharatiya Kisan Union and hailing from Shamli in Uttar Pradesh, said on-stage, “I am a farmer and I have been coming here for six-seven days… the government has put those on the streets who make food for the country. Earlier also they were doing the same — if not, then in 2014 itself, the government would have implemented the Swaminathan Committee recommendations.”
Uttar Pradesh police personnel present at the site have also been directed to ensure the protests remain strictly farmer centric.
Station House Officer of Kaushambi district, Mahendra Singh, said, “We will try to stop anyone who wishes to disturb the protests by the farmers.