Farmers to vacate Ghazipur site today
- Tikait, along with his hundreds of supporters, reached the UP Gate border on the Delhi Meerut Expressway on November 28 last year. He is expected to return from Punjab late Tuesday night, and perform a ‘havan’ on Wednesday morning before leaving for Sisoli.
Rakesh Tikait, the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), and one of the key leaders of the farmers’ agitation against the three contentious farm laws, will lead the last batch of protesters at Ghazipur border on Wednesday morning, capping a more than a year-long protest on the eastern border of the Capital where a teary eyed Tikait rejuvenated the agitation after the violence during a tractor rally on Republic Day.
“The other farmers have moved out, and the last batch will leave UP Gate on Wednesday morning. Rakesh Tikait will lead the last batch in a car, and the group will take the Hindon elevated road and then proceed on the Delhi Meerut Road towards Sisoli (Muzaffarnagar district). Midway, there will be group of farmers who will be waiting on roads to meet the last batch of farmers returning home,” said Gaurav Tikait, president of BKU’s youth wing, on Tuesday.
Tikait, along with his hundreds of supporters, reached the UP Gate border on the Delhi Meerut Expressway on November 28 last year. He is expected to return from Punjab late Tuesday night, and perform a ‘havan’ on Wednesday morning before leaving for Sisoli.
The protest was called off after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 19 that his government would abandon the contentious laws, and Parliament repealed them on November 29.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) signed off on a final letter from the Centre on December 9, that contained key steps forward.
After the agitation was called off on December 9, Tikait then said that he will be the last one to leave the protest site. As the farmers continued returning from borders of Delhi, Tikait has been attending several programmes in Punjab and Chandigarh.
The BKU on Monday described the Wednesday’s morning event as “Fateh March”, and added that it will go through Modinagar, Khatauli and Mansoorpur to Sisoli.
Rajbir Singh, state vice-president of BKU, said there were about 200 farmers at UP Gate who will leave with Tikait on Wednesday. “It is expected that the gathering will swell, as many people may come and meet the farmers. We have started dismantling the remaining tents at the UP Gate,” he said.
The UP Gate was named by farmers as ’Kisan Kranti Gate’ in October, 2018 when hundreds of farmers clashed with the Delhi Police following their march from Haridwar in support of several demands such as a blanket loan waiver, revocation of National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on 10-year-old diesel run tractors in NCR, reduction in electricity tariff, implementation of MS Swaminathan Commission recommendation on remunerative prices and payment of sugarcane arrears among others.
Ever since the farmers have started moving out, teams of different agencies such as the National Highways Authority of India are inspecting the expressway stretch to ascertain any damage to the road infrastructure.
“We have made elaborate police arrangements at various points on the Delhi Meerut road, and we will ensure that there is no inconvenience caused to commuters when farmers return home from UP Gate on Wednesday,” said Irja Raja, superintendent of police (rural).
There was no word on when the carriageway on the expressway will open for traffic.