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Peasant leaders watch rapid movement pick up as Tikait mobilizes Western UP support | India News

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GHAZIABAD / NEW DELHI: Agitated peasant leaders held a one-day fast at various protest sites along the Delhi borders on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death on Saturday as the uproar against farm laws appeared to regain momentum after gathering the support of the crucial western farming community. Uttar Pradesh region.
More farmers gathered in Ghazipur, on the Delhi-Meerut highway, which has now become the new focus of attention. Union leaders claimed that protesters were also returning to the Singhu and Tikri borders from Punjab and Haryana, days after crowds had thinned following violence at the tractor rally on January 26.
The administration remained on high alert with internet services temporarily suspended at the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders of the national capital, as well as in adjacent areas. Haryana has already suspended Internet services in 14 districts.
Security personnel, including riot police and paramilitary forces, were deployed in force. Multiple layers of barricades, including concrete blocks, were placed at the protest sites.
With garlands, peasant leaders, who had asked to observe ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’ (Harmony Day) on Saturday after immense outrage at the violence of protesters during their Republic Day tractor rally, sat on the stage during the fast, as the crowd of supporters increased. , especially in Ghazipur, where the Bharatiya Kisan Union is leading the protest.

Peasant leaders watch rapid movement pick up as Tikait mobilizes Western UP support | India News

Rakesh tikait addressing supporters at the Ghazipur border
Addressing protesters in Ghazipur, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, whose emotional appeal had prompted farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to flock to the protest site, said they have been fighting this battle for more than two months. and that “they will not yield or back down.”
“The movement was and is strong,” said BKU Meerut Zone President Pawan Khatana, a day after tens of thousands of politically sensitive western Uttar Pradesh farmers gathered in Muzaffarnagar to participate in a mahapanchayat. in a massive outpouring of support for the Bharatiya Kisan. Union-led protest.
Pankaj Pradhan, 52, head of Charaura village in Bulandshahr, who arrived in the afternoon along with seven other people at the Ghazipur border protest site, was moved to remember the night of January 28.
“We were all awake, watching Tikait ji cry, some were glued to televisions, others on mobile phones, and we were all feeling restless. I was also moved by the tests, and the women were also excited. All, and it made them connect more strong with movement, “he said.
Farmers also came from Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and other parts of Uttar Pradesh, many of whom addressed the crowd at the protest site.
Until now, the agitation was seen as being led primarily by Punjab-based farmers’ unions.
A multitude of green and white caps, symbols of the unions leading the battle, union flags and the tricolor, placed on tractors, dotted the road. In various tractors and camps, photos of legendary farmer leaders such as Chaudhary Charan Singh and Mahendra Singh Tikait have been posted.
Khatana, who is at the site of the rally with Tikait, said there has been continued support for the “peaceful protest” against the farmers’ demand that the new agricultural laws be removed.

Peasant leaders watch rapid movement pick up as Tikait mobilizes Western UP support | India News

Farmers raise slogans on the Ghazipur border as they watch a hunger strike on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death
“This is not a political protest. Anyone who shares the ideology of the BKU and Rakesh Tikait is welcome here. But it is our appeal to those who do not wish to support the movement to the end please do not come just to come out in between,” he said. .
Several opposition parties, including Congress, TMC AAP, RLD and the left, have openly supported the uproar.
Abhimanyu Kohar, a high-ranking member of Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, which is a body that brings together farmers’ unions, said the ongoing turmoil will gather steam as farmers join them in the coming days.
Anil Chaudhary, who also came from Bulandshahr, lamented what happened in the Red Fort and on the streets of Delhi on January 26, saying that “it hurt our morale.”
“But, now we feel stronger, and Tikaitji’s tears brought me here. Every person in my village is touched by his emotional appeal. And our solidarity will only grow from here, even though they may accumulate odds against us,” he said . .
Peasant leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said in Chandigarh that he expects a record meeting for February 2 at the Delhi border points.
“Large numbers of people from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand are coming to the protest sites,” Rajewal said.
Union President Bharatiya Kisan (Rajewal) also condemned the violence in Delhi on Republic Day and said it was regrettable.
“Possibly by February 2, there will again be a record gathering of people at the protest sites,” he said, adding that the upheaval will remain peaceful.
Rajewal also criticized the Haryana government for suspending Internet services.
He accused the Center of instilling fear in people by displaying images of the “regrettable events,” apparently referring to the January 26 violence in the national capital.
Rajewal appealed to those who joined the agitation on the Delhi borders to keep the protest peaceful.
“It is our responsibility to keep the unrest peaceful,” he stressed.
The peasant leader appealed to the Center to reject his “stubborn attitude” and withdraw the three agricultural laws.
When asked about the upcoming meeting between the protesting farmers and the government, he said: “When they call us, we will definitely go.”
Asked about joining the investigation following notices issued by the Delhi Police to peasant leaders regarding the Republic Day violence, Rajewal said: “We will send you an answer.”

Peasant leaders watch rapid movement pick up as Tikait mobilizes Western UP support | India News

INLD leader Abhay Chautala attends farmers’ protest on Ghazipur border
The Delhi police have sent notifications to some 20 peasant leaders, including Rajewal, about the violence during the farm tractor parade, asking why legal action should not be taken against them.
A team of forensic experts visited the Red Fort on Saturday, where protesters committed vandalism, raised a religious flag and attacked police personnel, to collect evidence.
A strong security deployment continued at the protest site, including personnel from the Provincial Armed Police (PAC), Rapid Action Force (RAF) with riot gear and civilian police.
On Friday, police used tear gas and charging batons to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents on the Singhu border.
Delhi Traffic Police said the movement was stopped on National Highway 24 (Delhi-Meerut Expressway).
Apart from Delhi’s three borders, internet services will remain suspended in its adjacent areas from 11 pm on January 29 to 11 pm on January 31, an official from the Union Interior Ministry said.
The decision was made to “maintain public safety and avoid a public emergency” under the 2017 temporary suspension of telecommunications services (public emergency or public safety) rules, the official said.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting on Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a repeal of the Trade in Agricultural Products and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Guarantee of Agricultural Prices and Services, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Protesting farmers have expressed fear that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of large corporations.
However, the government has argued that the new laws will provide better opportunities for farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.

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