Thousands of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) protesters, who are on a march to protest against the alleged apathy of the BJP government towards the farming community from Hardwar to Kisan Ghat in the national capital, were stopped along the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border as police used teargas shells and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Anticipating law and order situation, Delhi Police has imposed week-long prohibitory orders in east Delhi.
The Kisan Kranti Yatra, which began from Tikait Ghat in Hardwar on September 23, is the first of its kind by the BKU since the death of its founder Mahendra Singh Tikait on May 15, 2011. The Tikait clan, including the patriarch’s four sons, their wives, grandsons and their children have also hit the streets along with others.Besides unconditional loan waiver, the farmers are protesting against electricity and fuel prices which are shooting through the roof.
The situation grew tense when despite police warnings, the farmers tried to break the barricade in their attempt to enter the national capital. As the protests turned violent, the police resorted to water cannons, tear gas and mild lathi-charge.
National Highways leading to the national capital were swamped with farmers who came in from places as far as Gonda, Basti and Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh as well as the sugarcane belt of western Uttar Pradesh.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh met the farmer’s leaders and discussed their demands and have reached an agreement on the majority of the issues. Upping the ante against the Modi government, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi said, “On October 2 when the world is observing non-violence day, the BJP’s two-year-long festivities for Gandhi Jayanti have started on a violent note. Now, the farmers cannot even come to Delhi to share their woes.”
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said, “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 holding consultations with our leaders.”