New Delhi: While the Delhi Police struggles to keep agitating farmers at bay, the Opposition has been served on a platter the opportunity to attack the Centre. Farmers marching towards Delhi as part of the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (BKU) protest call over demands ranging from farm loan waiver to cut in fuel prices, were stopped on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border with police using water cannons to disperse them. (Catch LIVE Updates of Kisan Kranti Padyatra Here) Also Read - Bharat Band: Agitating Farmers Make Way For Ambulances, Ensure Peaceful Protest | Watch Viral Videos
The farmers, riding tractors and trolleys, broke barricades of the UP Police before proceeding towards the barricades put up by the Delhi Police, a senior police officer said. Police had to use water cannons to disperse the protestors, who also indulged in sloganeering. Tear gas was also used to disperse the crowd. The city police had imposed prohibitory orders in east and northeast Delhi, anticipating law and order problems as thousands of BKU members began marching from Haridwar to reach the national capital today. Also Read - Bharat Bandh: SAD Chief Sukhbir, Harsimrat Lead Tractor March to Protest Against Farm Bills | Highlights
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned how protesting farmers were stopped. He 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.” He even tweeted, “Delhi belongs to everyone. Farmers cannot be stopped from visiting Delhi. The demands of the farmers are justified. Their demands are justified and they should be met with.” Also Read - Following Violent Protests, Viswa Bharati Will Remain Closed 'Till Situation Improves'
Even as the Centre insisted it was ready to hold talks, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “This Government 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.”
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “It reconfirms the fact that the Modi government is anti-farmers. Instead of providing relief to farmers, they are exacerbating the crisis further, forcing farmers to be under debt burden and distress suicides. We haven’t seen such an agrarian distress in India since Independence.”
Congress spokesperson RS Surjewala said, “On the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Modi government has shown that it is no different from the pre-Independence British government in India. The British government then used to exploit the farmers and today, the Modi government is firing tear gas shells at farmers.”