The police have created multiple layers of barriers near the three protest sites at Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu to contain the protesters there and to prevent them from entering Delhi.(Reuters)
The police have created multiple layers of barriers near the three protest sites at Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu to contain the protesters there and to prevent them from entering Delhi.(Reuters)

Blockade of borders causing inconvenience to locals, loss to exchequer: MHA

Union minister of state (home affairs) G Kishan Reddy said, “In any agitation, there is financial loss incurred by people and governments.”
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2021 03:35 AM IST

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday that the blockade of city borders by farmers protesting against the three farm laws is causing inconvenience to the residents of Delhi and neighbouring states, besides financial loss to the people and the exchequer.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday to a question by Shiv Sena member Anil Desai, union minister of state (home affairs) G Kishan Reddy said, “The Delhi Police has informed that Ghazipur, Chilla, Tikri and Singhu borders of the national capital are blocked by agitating farmers and it is inconvenient to the residents of Delhi and neighbouring states. In any agitation, there is financial loss incurred by people and governments”.

The police have created multiple layers of barriers near the three protest sites at Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu, including metal and concrete barricades, concrete walls, barbed wire mounted on barricades to contain the protesters there and to prevent them from entering Delhi.

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Reddy also defended the use of force by the police during the Republic Day tractor rally, saying the security personnel were left with no option but to use tear gas, water cannons and mild force to control the crowd as farmers were aggressive and damaging government property.

The ministry also told the Rajya Sabha that neither the Enforcement Directorate (ED) nor the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sent summons to 40 people related to voluntary agencies, groups and individuals who are providing humanitarian support to the farmers agitation.

NIA officials who declined to be named said two dozen people were summoned in mid-January as “witness” in the probe into the funding of the agitation by suspected Khalistani supporters. They said the investigation did not have anything to do with the protests by itself.

Farm leaders and the Opposition parties claimed last month that the NIA issued summons to 40 activists from Punjab in a bid to “intimidate” them into withdrawing their support to the protests. The summons were reportedly sent in connection with a case against Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the legal adviser of the US-based Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan outfit, for allegedly funding various activities in India and organizing protests outside Indian missions abroad.

Home ministry officials also said that there was no plan as of now to further extend the suspension of internet connectivity at Delhi’s borders. Internet was suspended at Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu borders till Tuesday 11pm by the government.

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