Farmers' agitation to end soon as Centre agrees to most of the demands

Home Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with senior BKU leaders.

Farmers' agitation to end soon as Centre agrees to most of the demands
Image Credit: ANI

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday accepted most of the demands of the protesting farmers following consultations with top leaders of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) – the umbrella organisation under which thousands of farmers have been staging a protest to press for their demands.

(Update: Farmers to continue their protest)

''Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who held talks with senior BKU leaders on behalf of the Centre, has agreed to most of their demands,'' MoS Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said.

''Home Minister Rajnath Singh met the farmer's leaders and discussed their demands and have reached an agreement on the majority of the issues. Farmers' leaders, UP ministers Laxmi Narayan ji, Suresh Rana ji and I will go to meet farmers now,'' MoS Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat  

Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extended his full support to thousands of protesting farmers who were forcibly stopped from entering the state after their 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' reached Delhi-UP border.

Talking to ANI, the AAP chief said, ''Farmers should be allowed to enter Delhi. Why are they not being allowed to enter Delhi? This is wrong. We are with the farmers.''

The Delhi Chief Minister announced his support to the farmers after their 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' was stopped at the Delhi-UP border on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav too criticised the Modi government for cheating the farmers and extended its support to their cause.

''This govt has not fulfilled the promises it made to farmers, so it is all but natural that farmers would protest. It is unfortunate and we fully support the farmers,'' Akhilesh Yadav said on Kisan Kranti Yatra.

The main opposition party Congress also used the opportunity to attack the Modi regime. ''On the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Modi govt has shown that it is no different from the pre-independence British govt in India. British govt then used to exploit the farmers and today Modi govt is firing tear gas shells at farmers.'' Randeep Surjewala, the Congress spokesperson, said.

Criticising the Centre, JDU leader KC Tyagi said, ''Peaceful and unarmed farmers going towards Rajghat were brutally treated, they were lathi-charged and teargas shells fired on them. We condemn this.''

The authorities, which earlier issued prohibitory orders, used water guns and tear gas shell to disperse the protesting farmers.

The police took the action after farmers broke the barricades erected to stop them from entering Delhi.

''Police action on farmers is wrong. Our leaders are holding a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh. We will decide our next course of action after consultation with our leaders,'' Rakesh Tikait, Bhartiya Kisan Union leader, had warned. 

Security was earlier tightened at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border to stop the 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' enter the national capital on Tuesday.

At least 70,000 farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana have been participating in the Kisan Kranti Padyatra, which is expected to conclude at the Rajghat. 

The farmers are protesting against the unfriendly policies of the Narendra Modi Government and want to remind it of its promises made to the farmers.

Farmers participating in the movement are demanding complete loan waiver and reduction in electricity tariff, among other requirements. They are also seeking a provision of a pension to every farmer aged above 60. 

According to ANI, security was tightened at the Delhi-UP border in wake of 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra'.

The Delhi Police had on Monday imposed prohibitory orders in east and northeast Delhi, anticipating law and order problems in view of the farmers' rally.

In east Delhi, the prohibitory orders were issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Pankaj Singh under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code which would be in force until October 8. 

It covers Preet Vihar, Jagatpuri, Shakarpur, Madhu Vihar, Ghazipur, Mayur Vihar, Mandawli, Pandav Nagar, Kalyanpuri and New Ashok Nagar police station limits.
In northeast Delhi, the prohibitory orders were issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Atul Kumar Thakur and will be in force till October 4.
A senior police official claimed that the farmers have not sought any permission from the Delhi Police for the protests.

The order prohibits assembly of five or more people and holding of any public meeting. It also prohibits the use of any amplifier, loudspeaker, and similar instruments. 

According to the orders, police received information that BKU president Rakesh Tikait, along with a large number of protestors, will reach the national capital on Tuesday. 

The march is being organised from Patanjali (Uttarakhand) to Kisan Ghat (Delhi) via Muzaffarnagar, Daurala, Partapur, Modi Nagar, Muradnagar, Hindon Ghat between September 23 to October 2. 

The rally will pass through Ghaziabad (in Uttar Pradesh) and will proceed via Preet Vihar and Geeta Colony flyover in east Delhi on Tuesday.

The protesters were moving towards Delhi with hundreds of tractor-trolleys and private vehicles, according to the order issued by the DCP (East). 

They may also be carrying sticks, lathis, cans and possibility of them turning unruly cannot be ruled out on the lightest provocation, it said.

"The yatra thus has the potential of disruption of traffic and creating law and order problems. Hence, it is essential to maintain law and order and peace in the national capital territory of Delhi with intent to avoid any inconvenience to the general public," the order said.
There are also instructions against carrying firearms, stones and corrosive substances. 

Section 144 of the CrPC of 1973 empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four people in an area. 

The Delhi Traffic Police also issued an advisory asking motorists to avoid the Meerut Expressway.

"In view of the large-scale gathering of protestors on the Ghazipur border, the motorists going towards Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, Haridwar are advised to avoid the Meerut Expressway (Ghazipur Border) and take alternative routes as per their convenience," the advisory said.

Those going towards Ghaziabad can take Ghazipur Chowk, Road No 56 towards ISBT Anand Vihar, Apsara Border, GT Road and Mohan Nagar, it said. 

Commuters can also drive through Shahdara, Dilshad Garden, Mohan Garden to reach Ghaziabad. For going towards Noida, commuters have been advised to take DND Flyover, Noida Link Road and Mahamaya Flyover.

(With Agency inputs)