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Delhi: Crowd swells at border with UP, farmers trying to reach protest detained in Haryana

During the day, tractors inched closer to the barricaded areas at Ghazipur even as Delhi Police and Rapid Action Forces kept a close eye on their movements.

Written by Ashna Butani , Sakshi Dayal | New Delhi | December 2, 2020 1:33:08 am
Farmers protest, UP farmers, Farmers detained in Haryana, Delhi news, Indian express newsAt Singhu border near Haryana, Tuesday. (Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

Even as the numbers continued to swell at Singhu and Tikri on the Delhi-Haryana border, farm protests also intensified at Ghazipur on the national capital’s border with Uttar Pradesh. During the day, tractors inched closer to the barricaded areas at Ghazipur even as Delhi Police and Rapid Action Forces kept a close eye on their movements. Meanwhile, around 30 farmers from Haryana’s Nuh who were trying to make their way to Delhi to join in the protests were detained by Gurgaon Police on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 2 pm at Ghazipur, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s green flags merged with the Bhim Army’s blue as the latter’s chief Chandrashekhar Azad addressed farmers and asked them to keep up the fight until their demands are met.

Speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “We have not come to stand in front of the farmers, rather stand behind them in solidarity… The same farmers who are responsible for putting food on our plates are sitting on streets and eating alone. They are being met with water canons and lathis… I cannot see this kind of injustice. I come from a family of farmers and I am familiar with their troubles.”

“The movement is being misrepresented — some are alleging the protest is pro-Khalistan, others are saying farmers are being paid,” he said.

Even after Azad left, the area continued to bustle with activity. The situation near the barricades became tense as time passed, with more farmers pouring in. Dheeraj Rathi (55), who landed at the border today from Western UP on Tuesday, said, “I have left the field and come here; even though this means that we will all face losses eventually… This is the time when we cut sugarcane and start growing wheat in its place. Both my sons are joining the protest soon.”

Navdeep Singh (28) said families across Western UP are taking turns to join the protest. Some said the women in their families would join soon since the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam has set up portable washrooms on both sides of the protest site.

Later in the day, protesters from the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee reached the border. Medha Patkar, who is part of the committee, told The Indian Express, “This is not a centralised movement but a nationwide one and there are alliance movements across the country. It is not only a movement of landed farmers but also one for farm labourers… Everyone is in this together.”

“If the Prime Minister is saying that MSP will continue to exist, why did they not make it a part of these three Acts?” she said.

Meanwhile in Haryana, members of the Mewat Vikas Sabha, one of the groups participating in the protest from Nuh, said it was on Saturday that farmers from the district had decided to make a second attempt to reach the capital.

“We were first stopped on November 26. Today, we intended to reach Singhu border via the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway, travelling in cars and tractors,” said Salamuddin Meo, president of the group.

“We left Nuh around noon, but were stopped by police personnel near Sohna and prevented from travelling further. Why can’t we join our friends at the border,” he said.

While people participating in the protest claimed around 50 people had been detained, police said the figure was “around two dozen”.

“They are likely to be released tonight itself,” said Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon Police.

Swaraj India national president Yogendra Yadav, who had been detained on November 26, condemned the Gurgaon Police action.

Referring to a statement made by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday, he said, “On the one hand, the Chief Minister says farmers of Haryana are not involved in the farmers’ movement, and on the other, farmers are being taken into custody. When, due to the pressure of the farmers’ movement, the central government is forced to talk with the farmers, the Khattar government is showing its anti-farmer intentions and policies by taking farmers into custody.”

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