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Protesting farmers hold 'Sadbhavna Diwas'; to observe day-long fast today; security enhanced

The farmer leaders have asserted that the number of agitators at all the prominent protest venues - Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri - is swelling after the police allegedly tried to remove farmer leader Rakesh Tikait from the Ghazipur border on Thursday night.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: January 30, 2021 9:01 IST
farmers protest
Image Source : PTI

New Delhi: Farmers making an appeal to the people claiming to be 'local villagers' not to indulge in clashes at the Singhu Border in New Delhi, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.

Farmers protesting the Centre's new agri laws will observe 'Sadbhavna Diwas' on Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary on January 30 and hold a day-long fast, farm leaders said on Friday and asserted that their agitation will gain strength as farmers in large numbers will join them in the days ahead. Addressing a press conference at Delhi's Singhu border, the leaders slammed the ruling BJP at the Centre and accused it of trying to "destroy" the "peaceful" agitation against the agri laws.

"The conspiracy of the ruling BJP to destroy this farmers' movement is now exposed to all," said Jagjit Singh Dallewal of Bharat Kisan Union (Sidhupur).

The farmer leaders said the fast will be held from 9 AM to 5 PM and appealed to the people of the country to join them.

The farmer leaders also asserted that the number of agitators at all the prominent protest venues - Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri - is swelling after the police allegedly tried to remove farmer leader Rakesh Tikait from Ghazipur border on Thursday night.

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Yudhvir Singh said, "We don't need a lecture on respecting national flag from these (BJP) people. Majority of farmers who are sitting here have their children fighting at the borders."

He said trying to evict farmers from Ghazipur border but helped them as over a lakh people joined the agitation after that.

Thousands of protesting farmers clashed with the police during the tractor parade on January 26. Many of them, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument.

They hoisted flags on the domes and placed the flagstaff at the ramparts of the national monument.

A statement issued later by Samyukta Kisan Morcha said the BJP government is now giving communal colour to the ongoing peaceful farmers' movement.

"The way the government has unsuccessfully tried to spoil the atmosphere on the Ghazipur border and the Singhu border for the last 3 days proves that the police and BJP-RSS are desperately plotting to kill this movement. Similar unsuccessful attempts were made on the Tikri border too," the statement said.

Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal said a large number of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states are moving towards Delhi to join the agitation.

Over 800 tractor trollies from Mohali (Punjab) are on their way to various border points in Delhi, he claimed.

Pal also appealed to the government to restore internet services to all agitation sites, saying protest will be held if that was not done.

The farmer leaders said their protest will remain peaceful, and condemned the development at Ghazipur Border on Thursday.

"We were peaceful yesterday, today and will be peaceful tomorrow also. We invite people of this country to join us in this peaceful protest," Pal said.

Another farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal alleged that the "conspiracy" of the government started on January 26 has been exposed.

He said the farmer leaders "condemn tooth and nail" what happened at Singhu Border, alleging the so-called "locals" protest was organised at the behest of the BJP.

Police fired tear gas and resorted to baton charge Friday to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites against farm laws.

The statement said Samyukta Kisan Morcha is overwhelmed by the love of the farmers reaching the Ghazipur border.

"The government and many organizations were claiming that the Ghazipur dharna would be closed by last evening, but the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have again proven that the farmers' spirits and support are high," it said.

The farmers' movement was peaceful and will be peaceful, it said.

"The events on January 30 will be organized to spread the values of truth and non-violence. The way the government is spreading planned lies and violence is condemnable," the statement said. 

Crowd swells at UP Gate; around 3,000 security personnel deployed

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) supporters stayed put on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Friday as the crowd swelled there, notwithstanding the Ghaziabad administration's ultimatum to vacate the UP Gate protest site where security force in large numbers was re-deployed. On a call of the BKU, more farmers from western Uttar Pradesh districts such as Meerut, Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad and Bulandshahr reached the UP Gate by early morning to join the stir, even as the security forces at the protest site thinned out overnight.

A confrontation was building up at the UP Gate in Ghazipur even as frequent power cuts were witnessed on Thursday evening at the protest site, where BKU members, led by Rakesh Tikait, are staying put since November 28 last year.

Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey and Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani visited the protest site post-midnight to review the situation there even as hundreds of security personnel in anti-riot gears were deployed since Thursday.

Also Read | Singhu border violence: 44, including man who attacked SHO with sword, arrested

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