Farmers in western UP block roads in support of ‘Chalo Dilli’ march
Farmers blocked road traffic at different points in eight districts of the Meerut region of western Uttar Pradesh on Friday in support of ongoing agitation against three contentious farm laws passed by the Center in September.
Protests were witnessed in Meerut, Baghpat, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad and Bijnor. Adequate police arrangements were made in view of the protests and traffic was diverted to other routes to avoid traffic jams, said the additional director general of the police (Meerut area), Rajeev Sabharwal.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) had called for roadblocks in UP to show solidarity with farmers from Punjab and Haryana heading to the national capital as part of their ‘Chalo Dilli’ agitation against the new farm laws.
Farmers fear all three laws: the Agricultural Products Trade and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Guarantee and Agricultural Services of 2020, and the Essential Products Act (Amendment ) of 2020- – would make them vulnerable to exploitation by large corporations and at the same time eliminate the minimum support price (MSP) regime.
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In Meerut, a groom and members of his family got caught in the traffic jam and had to walk to their destination to join the marriage ceremony.
Dharmendra Malik, BKU state spokesperson, said BKU leader Rakesh Tikait led the protest in Nawla on National Highway 58 in Muzaffarnagar.
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He said the future course of the movement will depend on the attitude of the Union government towards thousands of farmers marching towards Delhi.
He recalled that more than five lakh farmers had organized a protest in Delhi for seven days in 1988 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Tikait, forcing the then government of Rajiv Gandhi in the Center to accept their demands.