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Friday, March 05, 2021

Quieter, emptier: Ghazipur site, which first broke ranks

In days leading to the Republic Day rally, the gathering there had swelled to several thousand and their tractors and tents had occupied over 2.5 km both over and below the Ghazipur flyover.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
January 28, 2021 6:09:58 am
farm protest, farm laws, farmers republic day, farmers republic day violence, indian express newsThe coordinators at the protest site have maintained that some “mischievous elements” had provoked and misled other protesters into breaking away from the rally. (File)

By 2 pm on Wednesday, the green carpets in front of the stage at the Ghazipur protest site had been rolled up, marking an early end to the day’s activities. A day after the tractor rally spiralled into violence, the gathering at the Ghazipur protest site had visibly thinned and the atmosphere was more subdued.

The Ghazipur site was from where a large number of protesters first broke away from Tuesday’s designated route to head towards Central Delhi. A farmer who died at ITO, Navreet Singh, had also left for Delhi from here. The few speeches made from the Ghazipur stage on Wednesday were tributes to him.

In days leading to the Republic Day rally, the gathering there had swelled to several thousand and their tractors and tents had occupied over 2.5 km both over and below the Ghazipur flyover.

On Wednesday, those present said the numbers seemed dwindled because most of those who had arrived just to participate in the rally had returned.

“Many had come from nearby districts and villages for the rally, and because of that the numbers had increased a lot in the last few days. They have returned to their villages after the rally. A few mischievous people had taken things out of hand yesterday but the protest will continue peacefully as before,” said Jitender Singh from Lakhimpur district.

The coordinators at the protest site have maintained that some “mischievous elements” had provoked and misled other protesters into breaking away from the rally.

“We are currently keeping a lookout for any mischievous elements and we are also telling all protesters to not be misled by anyone… Yesterday, some of these elements broke out early and the rest of the farmers followed them not knowing it was not the correct time or route,” claimed Jitender Singh, volunteer and security in-charge at Ghazipur.

This message was communicated from the stage on Wednesday as well. “We were told that there are some wrong people among us and we should be vigilant about them. If there are people who say provocative things, we should understand that they are not a part of our movement,” said Jagtar Singh from Bareilly district.

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