'If farmers don't listen, we'll do what they did': Locals protest against farm laws stir at Singhu border
A group of locals staged counter protests at Singhu border on Thursday demanding the removal of farmers from the protest sites where they are agitating against the agricultural laws for over two months now. The anti-farmer protesters said that farmers insulted the Indian flag during the Republic Day tractor parade hence they want them to be removed from the area. "Right now we are talking to them politely but if they don't listen, we'll do what the farmers did," said Mohan Bhardwaj, who claimed to be affiliated to an outfit.
Many locals, part of anti-farmer protests, also said that they are facing hardships due to the farmers' agitation and want the roads to be cleared. Protesters had gathered from around 10 nearby villages.
Meanwhile, in view of the escalating tension in the area, security was heightened as police barricaded the area. The entry of any outsiders has also been restricted towards the main stage area of farmers' protests.
On January 26, farmers carried out a tractor rally in an attempt to step up their agitation. During the parade, some groups deviated from their decided route and broke barricades to enter Delhi. They also stormed the Red Fort and hoisted their own flag at its ramparts.
Several public and private properties were also damaged as protesters clashed with the police. One farmer was killed and nearly 400 police personnel were injured during the violence.
A total of 22 FIRs have been filed by the Delhi Police in connection to the violence. Police also sent a notice to at least 20 farmer leaders on Thursday for breaching the agreement with police regarding the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day. The notice was served by the police to farmer leaders including Yogendra Yadav, Baldev Singh Sirsa and Balbir S Rajewal and asked them to give a reply within three days, informed Delhi Police.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait has also received a notice in which police has asked him to explain why legal action should not be taken against him for breaching the agreement with police.
Farmers are protesting against Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
(With agency inputs)