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Tractor rally route key issue for protesting farmers at Ghaziabad’s UP Gate

Ghaziabad: In a development that may create law and order issue during the proposed tractor rally, the farmers protesting at the UP Gate said on Monday that they would proceed to Akshardham in Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 11:07 PM IST

Ghaziabad: In a development that may create law and order issue during the proposed tractor rally, the farmers protesting at the UP Gate said on Monday that they would proceed to Akshardham in Delhi. However, Delhi Police officials have denied inclusion of Akshardham route to the route plan.

The Delhi Police officials on Monday evening submitted a copy of document to the farmers at UP Gate in which they said that they have “no objection” for tractor rally on the three proposed routes and said that the permission is subject to the condition that all the constituents of the ‘Samyukt Kisan Morcha’ shall sign an undertaking having the terms and conditions.

While the two routes include rallies to be taken from Singhu and Tikri borders, the third route mentioned in the document is about the UP Gate/Ghazipur border. The route states “Ghazipur border-Apsara border-Hapur Road-Bhopra-IMS College-Lal Kuan-Ghazipur border.” A copy of the document shared by the farmers at UP Gate is with HT.

The third route indicates that the rally will head towards Anand Vihar and later to Apsara border from where it will enter the jurisdiction of Uttar Pradesh in Ghaziabad.

The farmer leaders, however, are adamant that they would take out the rally up to Akshardham and then return to follow the designated route. “We have conveyed to the police that we will go up to Akshardham and come back to Anand Vihar and follow the other route. On Tuesday, we will go to Akshardham,” said Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.

Jagtar Singh Bajwa, farmer leader from Uttarakhand and member of UP Gate protest site committee, said, “We have discussed the additional Akshardham route with the Delhi Police. The tractors are coming in large numbers and there is no count.”

Officials of the Ghaziabad district administration said that they have not received any official communication from the Delhi Police so far. “Our police officials are in touch with their Delhi counterparts and ensuring that the rally by farmers is carried out peacefully and without any hindrance,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate of Ghaziabad.

Kalanidhi Naithani, senior superintendent of police, did not respond to calls for his comments over the issue.

Asked if the Delhi Police has accepted the demands of the farmers at Ghazipur border (UP Gate) to take their tractor rally near Akshardham temple on NH-24, a senior police officer, who did not want to be named, said, “No such permission has been given. The tractor rally will take a right turn at the Ghazipur roundabout.”

The Delhi traffic police on Monday also issued traffic advisory in which they have specified their designated route for the UP Gate farmers.

The Ghaziabad officials till late Monday night did not issue any route plan or any traffic advisory ahead of the tractor parade. Instead, the Ghaziabad traffic police reissued the advisory of the Delhi traffic police.

The farmers said that thousands of tractors will arrive at UP Gate by Monday night to be part of the proposed tractor parade.

“We are taking out this tractor parade to show that farmers love their country, and we will be holding high our national flag during the tractor parade. Every vehicle will have the national flag besides the flag of their respective unions,” Tikait added.

Thousands of farmers are on protest at the UP Gate site since November 28 last year and demanding repeal of the Centre’s three new farm laws. Their successive talks with the government have ended in deadlock.

The document given by the Delhi police officials to farmers at UP Gate mentioned that the permission will be subject to conditions – the permission is limited to holding of tractor rally on the permitted routes only and should not be construed as permission for holding any Dharna, demonstration or sit-in en-route the rally; the organisers shall keep the limit of gathering of participants in rally to 5000 persons along with 5000 tractors; the rally shall be held within the prescribed time limit period from 1200 hours to 1700 hours on January 26 and also ensure that the tractors carry valid docents like registration-certificates, permit, licence, etc., among other conditions.

The conditions also include non-usage of any metal rods for flags/banners and wooden stick should not be more than two metres besides the dimension of flag shall be 9 feet x 6 feet or smaller.

(With inputs from HTC, Delhi)

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