Ghazipur Tense: Farmers Continue Sit-in after UP Police Ultimatum
According to reports, more farmers started reaching Ghazipur late on Thursday.
The situation was tense at the Ghazipur border, one of the main sites of protests against the three contentious farm laws, on Thursday, 28 January, as the UP Police gave an ultimatum to the farmers to end the protest and vacate the site by the end of the day.
However, the farmers at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border continued their sit-in overnight, with Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait’s emotional outburst saying they will not vacate the site, proving to be the turning point.
According to reports, more farmers started reaching Ghazipur early on 29 January.
Earlier, Ghaziabad ADM (City) Shailendra Kumar Singh told the media that a notice was served to the farmers under Section 133 of CrPC (conditional order for removal of nuisance).
Additional force was also deployed at the protest site on Thursday.
RLD Extends Support to Farmers
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh announced support to BKU, with party leader Jayant Chaudhary arriving at protest site to meet the farmers.
"It is a matter of life and death for farmers, but do not worry. All have to stay together, united in this – this is Ajit Singh’s message," the RLD vice president said in a tweet in Hindi.
‘Protest Will Not End’
Several farmers, specifically women and children, did start vacating the protest site on Thursday. However, Tikait asserted on Thursday that the protest would continue.
“We are ready for arrest but the protest will not end,” Tikait had earlier said while addressing demonstrators at the site.
“We will continue our sit-in protest and will not vacate the site till talks with the government are held. The administration has removed basic facilities, including water and electricity supply. We’ll get water from our villages,” ANI quoted Tikait.
"Despite no violence at the Ghazipur protest site, the government is trying to crush the farmers’ movement. This is the real face of the Uttar Pradesh government," he was quoted by IANS earlier.
Meanwhile, the police said they will observe and decide on a course of action. “Three companies of CAPF, six companies of PAC and 1,000 police personnel have been deployed at the border along with local police of several stations. There is deployment on both ends of the border. We will observe and decide on a course of action,” Praveen Kumar, IG Range Meerut, was quoted by The Indian Express.
SKM Issues Statement, Condemns Actions of UP Police
On Thursday evening, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) had issued a statement condemning the actions of Uttar Pradesh police, saying that they had cut off basic facilities for the protesting farmers at Ghazipur.
“SKM also strongly condemned the eviction of protestors at Palwal, where the police instigated locals and flared up divisive sentiments,” the statement read.
“The government’s efforts to discredit the ongoing farmers’ movement are continuing. The nervousness of the government is evident from how it is installing security forces on all borders. The government wants to show this movement as ‘violent’ again and again, but the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has a unanimous approach to ensure that the movement will remain peaceful.”Statement by SKM
The statement further said that the SKM will not be intimidated by the notices being sent by the Delhi Police and will respond to the same, adding that the BJP government along with its state governments is trying its best to put an end to this movement by blaming SKM for the events of 26 January.
“Instead of taking action against the real criminals, the police is instead arresting farmers who were protesting peacefully. Police has also seized their vehicles,” the body said, calling for the release of all peaceful protesters immediately and unconditionally.
It also called for strict action to be taken against ‘anti-social elements like Deep Sidhu’.
Crackdown on BKU’s Tikait
Earlier, the Delhi Police had put up a notice outside Tikait’s tent at the Ghazipur border, asking for an explanation as to why legal action shouldn't be taken against him.
Speaking to ANI about the notice issued to him, Tikait said, “I'll read the notice. They've given me three days time to reply... Farmers came here as the responsibility of farmer unions and they take their responsibility. We had photographed the route given to us in writing. Police barricaded it and kept the route to Delhi free.”
Tikait said that the violence of 26 January was a conspiracy to derail the farmers’ movement and targeted Punjabi celebrity Deep Sidhu for events at the Red Fort.
The police deployment at the Singhu border had also been increased on Thursday with cops barricading a portion of a road from Singhu to Delhi.
(With inputs from ANI, IANS and The Indian Express.)
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