Farmers block Delhi-Meerut expressway in protest against UP govt for stopping their counterparts
Farmers protesting against the three farm laws for the past 27 days blocked all carriageways of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (UP Gate) border for nearly 10 hours on Tuesday, in a protest against the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly stopping farmers from marching towards the border.
Around 5pm, the farmers cleared one carriageway, allowing vehicles to move from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.
The border blockade disrupted vehicular movement between Delhi and Ghaziabad, as traffic snarls spilt to other border points and connecting roads in Delhi as well as Uttar Pradesh.
As the farmers blocked the border around 7am without prior notice, motorists travelling to Ghaziabad from Delhi through the expressway during the morning rush hour were stuck.
At 7.37am, the Delhi Traffic Police used its Twitter handle to update the public about the closure of the carriageways at the Ghazipur-Ghaziabad border. Delhi Police’s public relation officer, Anil Mittal, said that the carriageway leading to Ghaziabad was closed for traffic, as farmers blocked the roads at the UP Gate border.
The carriageway leading to Delhi from Ghaziabad has already been closed for the last few days due to the farmers’ protest. “Traffic was diverted from Nizamuddin Khatta, Akshardham, and Ghazipur Chowk for onwards journey towards Ghaziabad via Anand Vihar, Apsara and Bhopura borders,” said Mittal.
It was the second time since Monday afternoon that the expressway was completely blocked by the farmers. The nearly hour-long blockade on Monday was cleared after the officials of the UP administration assured the farmers that nobody would be stopped from going towards the borders.
Rajveer Singh Jadhon, the president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (UP unit), said that the UP government has been harassing farmers in the state and those coming from Uttarakhand, by stopping their tractor-trolleys and other vehicles in different places.
Jadhon said that despite assurances, nearly 35 trolleys and 50 four-wheelers ferrying farmers were stopped at Rampur and Pilibhit on Monday night. “The police personnel misbehaved with the farmers and forced them to return. We blocked the UP Gate border with our tractors to express our protest against the UP administration and demand the release of farmers. We cleared one carriageway for vehicles going to Ghaziabad after the farmers were allowed to move towards Delhi,” said Jadhon.
The border remained closed between 7am and 5pm on Tuesday, following which the carriageway going towards Ghaziabad from Delhi was opened after a meeting between farmer leaders and officials of the UP administration, who assured that the farmers, who had been stopped at Rampur, Pilibhit and Bilaspur, were allowed to move towards the UP Gate border.
Praveen Kumar, inspector general (Meerut range), of the Uttar Pradesh police, said, “The carriageway was vacated by the protesters and we have assured that all their issues will be taken up. They were demanding that their vehicles must not be stopped from approaching the UP Gate from other areas in UP. But we have to take up checks to ascertain that no anti-social element gets in. We discussed with other officers and got the issue resolved. The carriageway was vacated around 5pm.”
The Singhu and Tikri borders, where thousands of farmers are protesting, continued to remain shut while one carriageway of the Delhi-Noida link road at the Chilla border is open for vehicles entering Delhi from Noida. Motorists going to Noida are being diverted to other borders such as Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway, Kalindi Kunj, New Ashok Nagar, Kondli and Dallupura.