Tractors being stopped in different districts from coming to Delhi borders for rally, allege farmers
Noida: Unlike UP Gate which where thousands of tractors have been parked for today’s rally, only few tractors could reach Chilla border and Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal in Noida by Monday afternoon, with farmers alleging that administrations in various district have adopted coercive measures to thwart farmers’ attempts to reach the protest sites and participate in the tractor parade.
Yogesh Pratap Singh, Uttar Pradesh president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (BKU) Bhanu faction said that the union had planned a massive tractor rally on Republic Day. “We are receiving information from districts such as Lucknow, Agra, Etah, Firozabad, Bulandshahr, Hapur and Meerut that local administrations are issuing notices to the farmers and asking them not to participate in the rally. Fuel stations have been told not to sell diesel to farmers’ tractors. We had planned to convey this message to the chief minister on Monday during his visit to Noida but he preferred to address the Shilp Haat gathering via video conference. We do not think the tractor rally will take place as planned,” he said.
“If tractors are stopped in other districts, farmers in Noida will block the Mayur Vihar-Noida road in protest,” he added.
The Noida-Delhi road at Chilla border remains closed since December 1 due to the farmers protest.
Farmers at Chilla border also showed a letter purportedly issued by Firozabad police in which police personnel were directed by senior officials to keep a tab on local farmers’ movement and stop them from coming to Delhi for the tractor rally. The BKU-Bhanu had a planned 15 kilometre parade from Chilla border to Mayur Vihar flyover, and then to Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) Flyway and back.
Meanwhile, BKU’s Lok Shakti faction members at the Dalit Prerna Sthal said they have tried to keep the rally low-profile. “We have asked farmers from only Gautam Budh Nagar and Bulandshahr to participate. They will leave the Dalit Prerna Sthal at noon for Chilla border and then to Akshardham and Ghazipur in Delhi. Around 100 tractors and cars will be in the rally. The round trip would be 30 km,” said Rajiv Malik, spokesperson, BKU-Lok Shakti.
The Lok Shakti faction has also issued guidelines to the participants to carry national flags on their tractors. They have advised farmers to ensure that unwanted elements do not create nuisance during the rally. “We have also suggested to them to only give lifts to known persons on their tractors. If unknown persons are given lifts, they will have to submit an ID proof,” Malik said.
The police, meanwhile, said they still have not received any route maps from the Delhi Police.
Rajesh S, deputy commissioner of police, Noida Zone 1, said: “We have not received the route map from Delhi Police. Noida police teams will be deployed to ensure enforcement of law and order.”