(Eds: Updates with details about situation, adds protestors’ quotes) New Delhi, Oct 3 (PTI) Protesting farmers ended their march at the Kisan Ghat in the national capital early Wednesday after the police which had stopped them on the city border allowed their entry, police said .Also Read - Horrific! Couple Abducted From Delhi, Killed In MP, Bodies Dumped In Different States, Say Police
The Delhi Police removed the barricades around 12.30 am to allow the farmers, who were stopped Tuesday at UP Gate on the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border during the Kisan Kranti Yatra, to enter the city, a senior police official said. Also Read - 'It's An Undeclared Emergency', Says Harsimrat Badal as Delhi Police Seal Borders; Vehicular Movement Hit
Within hours, thousands of farmers gathered at Kisan Ghat, the memorial of renowned farmer leader and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, which is located just adjacent to Raj Ghat between the banks of Yamuna river and Mahatma Gandhi Road, also known as main Ring Road. Also Read - Pak-Backed Terrorists Arrested in Delhi Planned Blasts to Target Recovering Indian Economy, Reveals Interrogation
They offered tributes at the memorial.
The farmers entered the national capital riding their tractors and trolleys and proceeded towards Kisan Ghat where heavy police deployment has been made, the official said.
BKU leader Pawan Khatana said the police had opened the barricades around 12.30 am.
“We reached the Kisan Ghat in the next couple of hours. By 5 am the farmers had started return journey to their homes in Rajasthan, Haryana, UP, Madhya Pradesh,” Khatana, the BKU’s Uttar Pradesh unit spokesperson, told PTI.
No farmers participating in the agitation are now in Delhi, however, several of them, including BKU chief Naresh Sigh Tikait are staying put near the UP-Delhi border — the spot for Tuesday’s clash with security men.
Khatana said some of the farmers are still at UP Gate, the intersection of Madan Mohan Malviya Road in Ghaziabad with the Delhi-Meerut highway, repairing their tractors.
“Our yatra was supposed to start from Tikait Ghat in Haridwar and culminate at the Kisan Ghat in Delhi. The farmers reached there and after that they left.
“Our main objective was to get our issues highlighted, which has happened. Now it is for the government to decide what it wants to do. The farmers have done their work. If they agree to our demands, well and good. Otherwise, during elections they (politicians) will only have to approach us (for votes) and not the other way round,” Khatana said.
Mukul Singh, 24, who participated in the stir said he has reached back home in Muzaffarnagar.
“We left for Kisan Ghat from UP Gate around 1 am. And left Delhi a couple of hours later,” Singh told PTI over the phone. Sachin Bhati, another protestor, said Wednesday morning that he was travelling back with around 40 people in a tractor-trolley to Muzaffarnagar.
“We went to the Kisan Ghat and are now returning home. We will reach home in another hour or so,” Bhati, 36, said, as they still had to cover around 30 km to be home.
Thousands of farmers on Tuesday marched towards Delhi over demands ranging from farm loan waiver to cut in fuel prices, pending sugarcane dues, allowing plying of old tractors, blocking traffic movement on arterial roads leading to the national capital.
National highways leading to the 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.
The police picketed the border with Uttar Pradesh, imposing prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people and holding of any public meeting, usage of any amplifier, loudspeaker, and similar instruments.
The Kisan Kranti Yatra which began from Tikait Ghat in Haridwar on September 23, was joined by farmers from various parts of Uttar Pradesh. They carried banners of Bhartiya Kisan Union, which gave the call for the march to press for a series of demands. Their list of demands include unconditional loan waiver for farmers, clearing of dues by sugar mills, higher prices for crops, free electricity for farms and a cut in diesel prices.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.