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Opinion

Bharat Bandh is largely peaceful at the borders, crowds swell at protest sites

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The national capital remained largely peaceful during the Bharat Bandh on Tuesday, although the crowd of protesting farmers increased at various protest sites across the city.

Police tightened security measures at the border points, while several stores near the protest points opted to close the blinds on Tuesday. Some of them said they closed their business in “solidarity” with the farmers.

One of the few roads blocked by protesters on Tuesday was the NH-44. A group of young people, mostly from Delhi and some from Punjab, blocked the road a few kilometers before the Singhu border.

Rajesh Kalshan, a resident of Swaroop Nagar in Delhi, who was among the protesters there, said: ‘We had held a march in our neighborhood and then we thought about blocking the NH-44 because we wanted the government to take notice of the farmers.’ problems.”

But high-ranking police officers soon arrived on the scene and urged the men to break through. In any event, the brief lockdown did little to disrupt traffic as motorists were diverted into an adjacent service lane.

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On the Singhu border, some stores were closed on Tuesday. Ram Niwas, a grocery store owner, said no one forced him to close. “We chose to remain closed to show our support for the farmers. Several of the users are from farming families and they want the government to correct the injustice committed against the farming community, ”he said.

There was also an increase in the number of protesters. The farmers said that some 200 more trucks carrying the farmers had arrived at Singhu between Monday night and Tuesday to support Bharat Bandh.

“We had not anticipated any problems and there were hardly any interruptions,” said a senior police officer, who did not want to be named.

At the Ghazipur-Ghaziabad border (UP Gate), nearly 300 farmers blocked the part of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and the NH-24 service lane, but facilitated the movement of ambulances and other emergency vehicles. “Our protest is not intended to create problems for the public. It is mainly to wake up the government, ”said Surjeet Singh, a farmer from Saharanpur.

Read also | Bharat Bandh: Farmers block NH-44, raise anti-government slogans in Ambala

The number of farmers protesting on the Chilla border was much lower than in the last week. Dharmendra Singh, National Youth Secretary of BKU (Bhanu Unit) said: “Our leaders had asked us to return to our respective cities and towns and participate in Bharat Bandh at the local level. On Wednesday we will return to the Chilla border to continue our protest ”.

At the Tikri border, which has witnessed protests since November 27, the situation remained as before. Nishan Singh, a farmer from Arnivala village in Fazilka district, said that all markets around the border were closed. “The border has been bandh for so many days. So, we didn’t have to do anything other than speak out against the farm laws, ”he said.

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