'Kisan Kranti Padyatra', which started from Haridwar on September 23, ended in the wee hours of Wednesday morning at Kisan Ghat in the national capital. The farmers' agitation had turned violent on Tuesday after Delhi Police blocked their entry into the city fearing massive traffic jams and ruckus. However, according to news agency ANI, the police opened the barricades late night to allow the farmers to visit the Kisan Ghat and end their rally.
"The 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' that started on September 23 had to end at Delhi's Kisan Ghat. Since Delhi Police did not allow us to enter, we protested. Our aim was to finish the yatra, which has been done. Now we will go back to our villages," Naresh Tikait, President, Bharatiya Kisan Union told the news agency.
The farmers had come from several north Indian states, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab. Their list of demands included unconditional loan waiver for farmers, clearing of dues by sugar mills, higher prices for crops, free electricity for farms and a cut in diesel prices.
Delhi Police open barricades at Delhi-UP border allowing the entrance of farmers who were stopped during 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' yesterday. The farmers are now heading towards Kisan Ghat. pic.twitter.com/0SvQmSKxc9— ANI (@ANI) October 2, 2018
The end of the protest comes as a huge sigh of relief for the residents of Delhi and NCR. Till last night, the farmers had refused to relent and had threatened for a prolonged agitation despite assurances from the Home Ministry.
The peaceful protest had violent when farmers tried to break open the barricading forcing the police to use teargas shells, water canon and mild force. Seven policemen, including an assistant commissioner of police, were injured.
Home Minister Rajnath held discussions with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and a few others on how to resolve the farmers' issues and pacify them.
The home minister also spoke to chief of BKU Rakesh Tikait over phone and conveyed the government's keenness to address their demands.
After meeting the protesting farmers at the Delhi-UP border, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the government was assuring the farmers to take forward their cause.
"I assure you all this. We will move court over the NGT order (to ban tractor and vehicles which are more than 10 years old)," he said.
However, Naresh Tikait, the chief of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which had given the protest call, said the farmers are "not satisfied" with the government's assurance. The farmers' leader claimed last night that they were equipped with the food supplies that could last them 10 days and they were ready to hold the protests for as many days as required.
Ghaziabad administration had ordered the schools to remain shut on Wednesday on account of the agitation. It was not immediately clear if the schools will open today after the protest has been called off.