Farmers Stay Put At Ghaziabad Protest Site
Farmers protesting against the Centre’s agriculture laws continued their sit-in protest on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Friday despite Ghaziabad administration's directive to vacate the site.
Those at the protest point, called UP Gate, claimed that many farmers who had left after the tractor rally on January 26 were coming back.
This, they say, followed an emotional message for support from Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait that was shown on some television news channels and went viral on the social media.
Led by Tikait, hundreds of BKU members are staying put in the open at UP Gate since November 28.
It was a night of uncertainty as a confrontation built up at the site since Thursday afternoon. Frequent power cuts were witnessed in the evening and the protestors claimed even water supply was severed.
After a post-midnight review of the situation, Ghaziabad administration seemed to have scaled down the presence of security personnel.
On Thursday union leaders resolved to face arrest and not give in to the Uttar Pradesh government’s orders to vacate the protest site and police threat to evict them.
The resolution to not stop protests came after police allegedly forced farmers from MP, Chhattisgarh and Odisha to evict them from Palwal protest site.
“We are willing to talk but will not give in to threats to stop our protest. Even if the police use force, we will not retaliate. Rather, we are prepared to be arrested as that is part of any andolan,” said Hannan Mollah, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha.
Earlier, lookout notices have been issued against farmer leaders named in FIR in connection with the violence during the farmers' tractor parade on Republic Day by Delhi Police on Thursday. Delhi Police has intensified its investigation and invoked sedition charges in a case of the Red Fort incident.
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