Farmers’ protest: Ghazipur border opened briefly, shut again
Vehicular movement to Ghaziabad from Delhi through the Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (UP Gate) border was partially restored for nearly six hours till Tuesday noon, providing some relief to commuters who have been facing traffic snarls due to the closure of the border, where farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been protesting against the three farm laws for over three months.
However, the route was closed again noon onwards and traffic was diverted to the other border points. Senior police officers who did not want to be named said that no official order had been issued to open the border. They said it was a temporary arrangement to facilitate movement of emergency vehicles.
“We had been facilitating the movement of ambulances earlier as well. The movement of vehicles was restored for a few hours in the morning as some emergency vehicles were stuck in the jam. The route has been closed again because there is no official order to open the border or the roads,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.
All the six carriageways of Delhi-Meerut Expressway, NH-9 and NH-24 have been completely blocked with multi-layered barricading and deployment of police personnel following the violence that erupted during the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26 (Republic Day). Movement of vehicles via the Ghazipur-Ghaziabad border has remained affected since November 25-26, when thousands of farmers who arrived from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand occupied the roads after they were stopped from entering Delhi.
On Tuesday, one carriageway of NH-9 was opened around 6am for traffic going towards Ghaziabad from Delhi, even as the Delhi Police said that the barricades had been removed post midnight; movement of vehicles on the road was allowed from around 6am.
Around noon, the carriageway was again barricaded at the entry of the Ghazipur flyover near the Ghazipur flower market. Police personnel were also deployed to regulate the traffic and guide motorists towards alternative routes for travelling towards Ghaziabad. The sudden closure led to confusion and chaos among motorists and many of them tried to argue with the police personnel about the closure.
“Many vehicles passed before the police closed the road again. When we asked why they opened it in the morning and closed it again, the policemen said they received orders from their higher-ups. People are facing traffic jams and inconvenience because of the blockade, but nobody is bothered about it,” said Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Kaushambi, who was returning home after dropping his friend at Sarai Kale Khan bus terminal.
The Ghazipur border is among the three main borders where farmers have been protesting against the three contentious farm laws for the past 97 days. Initially, only the carriageways going towards Delhi from Ghaziabad were closed because of the farmers’ sit-in protest. But after the January 26 violence, all the carriageways have been closed.