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Farmers protest on Ghazipur border: Farmers stay at UP Gate, “excess force” removed | India News

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GHAZIABAD: Hundreds of members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union stayed on the Delhi-Meerut Highway early Friday, despite the ultimatum from the Ghaziabad administration to vacate the UP Gate protest site.
A clash was brewing at UP Gate in Ghazipur even as frequent power outages were witnessed at night at the protest site, where BKU members, led by Rakesh Tikait, have remained there since November 28.
In a post-midnight review of the situation, Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey and Senior Police Superintendent Kalanidhi Naithani visited the protest site even as hundreds of security personnel in riot gear they had been deployed since Thursday.
Flanked by supporters at 1 am, Tikait stood center stage at the protest site: the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which has been barricaded from both sides, prohibiting the regular movement of traffic.
Around 500 protesters stayed at UP Gate and more from western Uttar Pradesh overnight on call from the BKU, an influential farmers union in northern India.
“The excess security force has been withdrawn from the protest site and only a minimal deployment of personnel remains there,” a Ghaziabad police officer told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“Tension was building at UP Gate due to the excessive display of force since Thursday night,” the officer added.
Several protesters waved the tricolor with some flags of farmers’ unions like Kisan Ekta Manch amid an ongoing slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”, while many were lying on mattresses covered with blankets as they braved the chilling cold and wind.
“Zaroorat padi to khade rehke dharna denge, tum dharne pe baithe rehne ki baat karte ho (I can protest while standing and you ask me if I am going to continue my sitting protest),” said Jagat Singh Rathi, 78. .
With a scarf tied around his head and a cane in hand to support himself as he walks, the septuagenarian from Meerut said he has been at the BKU protest since its inception on Nov. 28.
When asked if he would leave the protest site after the administration communication, he said: “(UP Gate) khaali nahi karenge. We have not seen any such order to vacate the protest site. When the Supreme Court He said that farmers have the right to protest then what? We will. ”
The “verbal” communication from the district administration to the BKU on Thursday came shortly after three farmers’ unions withdrew their protest against the three agricultural laws over the violence in Delhi on Republic Day.
“Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey has contacted the protesters camping at the UP gate on the Delhi border to leave the site tonight or the administration will remove them,” a district official said. to PTI.
Thousands of protesting farmers have been protesting on the Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the repeal of the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Guarantee Agricultural Prices and Services, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The protesting farmers have expressed their fear that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of large corporations.
However, the government has argued that the new laws will provide farmers with better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

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