Farmers at Ghazipur protest site say road closure led to Tuesday’s chaos
A day after violence erupted during the farmers’ tractor parade and left one person dead and scores injured, farm leaders at the Ghazipur protest site maintained it was a “conspiracy” to defame their agitation against the three farm laws. Farmer leaders blamed the government, Opposition parties, and the police alleging that they sent hooligans impersonating farmers.
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said the chaos started because the administration barricaded the approved route going towards the Ghazipur roundabout.
“Farmers were mostly from outside Delhi and they were not well aware of the roads in Delhi, especially NH-24, NH-9, and the Delhi-Meerut expressway, which has multiple carriageways and are very confusing. As the police had barricaded the road on which they had asked us to take our tractor rally, it confused some of the farmers and they entered the carriageways going towards Sarai Kale Khan. Other farmers followed them and that is how the confusion started,” said Tikait.
On Wednesday, the number of farmers at the protest site was much lesser than what it was over the last three-four days. The farmer leaders continued explaining to the media the entire sequence of events leading to the breaking of barricades and clashes with the security personnel.
A condolence gathering for the dead farmer was also organised at the protest site.
The national Capital descended into chaos as thousands of farmers protesting against the three laws passed in September to reform the agriculture sector on Tuesday stormed into the monument after breaking barricades and driving tractors through roadblocks.
The protesting farmers were to take a tractor rally through three designated routes in Delhi on day 62 of their protest against the laws. One of the farmer groups from the Ghazipur protest site deviated from the agreed-upon route and reached ITO, where they ran riot. Another group from Singhu border stormed the Red Fort, where one of the protesters climbed the first available flag post and hoisted the Nishan Sahib, the flag of the Sikhs.
A violent clash with policemen trying to disperse them followed.