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Saturday, February 27, 2021

End harassment before talks: Farm unions

At the Ghazipur border, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said the police barricading could not stop the farmers and they were ready to continue their protests till October-November.

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
Updated: February 3, 2021 8:11:07 am
New barricades at the Singhu border have cut off protesters from toilets. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

REFERRING to the multiple layers of barricading put up at the borders by the Delhi Police and the curtailment of internet services, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said Tuesday that there can be no “formal” talks with the government until such “harassment” by the police and administration is “immediately stopped”.

At the Ghazipur border, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said the police barricading could not stop the farmers and they were ready to continue their protests till October-November.

In a statement, the SKM said, “Increased barricading including trench-digging, fixing nails on the roads, barbed wire fencing, closing off of even internal roads, stopping internet services, orchestrating protests and facilitating the same through BJP-RSS workers, diversion of trains and stopping them before destination stations are all part of multiple attacks being organised by the government, its police and administration against the protesting farmers.”

It added, “On one hand, the Prime Minister says that solution is only one call away, but on the other hand the government is doing its best to block off the protest sites, cut off facilities and inconvenience the public.”

Since the last round of talks, there has been no call for a meeting between the farmer leaders and the Centre to discuss the farm laws.

Tikait said, “Talks with the government will continue, this taarbandi (barricading) will also continue… We have been told that no one will be able to leap over these barriers… This movement is of the poor. The king is fortifying this place, but we are prepared till October-November. This protest will not end anytime soon.”

Later in the day, Tikait sat in front of the yellow police barricades to have his lunch. He said he wanted to show that the farmers will not move till their demands are met. “Repealing the laws is the only way out.”

farmers protest, farmers protest delhi border, tikri border, singhu border farmers protest, ghazipur farmers protest, police security, delhi city news, indian express news The iron nails were embedded on the road under instructions of the Delhi Police, carried out under the supervision of Mundka police station.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who met Tikait at the Ghazipur border, said, “We gave Tikait sahib our message and expressed solidarity. The government should speak to farmers in a proper way. Ego will not help run the country.”

At the Singhu border, farmer leaders demanded the release of the 122 people arrested by the Delhi Police over the past few days, most of them in connection with the violence on Republic Day. “The Delhi Police has released the list of 122 agitators who were taken into police custody. We demand their immediate release. We also condemn the attacks on and arrests of journalists who are covering the movement,” SKM’s Darshan Pal said, adding that they were concerned that many people at the protest sites had gone “missing”.

Questioning the police’s tactics, Pal said, “To ensure that more people do not join (the protests), to cut off the coordinated functioning of the Morcha, to project images of violence so that ordinary people stay away, and to crack down on protesters through fabricated charges and arrests, while the real criminal elements go scot-free without any arrests and concrete police action so far, reveals the fact that the government is very scared of the increasing support to the movement.”

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