Ghaziabad: Commuters faced hardship on NH-24 on Thursday evening due to massive traffic jam following the closure of the Ghazipur border after face-off between police and protesting farmers.Also Read - Noida Extends COVID Restrictions Till Further Orders; Pools, Gyms To Remain Shut | Fresh List Of Guidelines Here

There was heavy police presence at the Ghazipur border after the Ghaziabad administration gave an ultimatum to agitating farmers to vacate the UP Gate protest site by Thursday midnight, failing which they would be removed. Also Read - Delhi Traffic Police Issues Advisory For Republic Day Parade Rehearsals. Details Here

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The “verbal” communication came after three farmers union withdrew their protest against the three central farm laws over the violence in Delhi on Republic Day.

The Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter to inform about the closure of the border.

“Gazipur border closed. Traffic diverted from NH 24, NH 9, Road no 56, 57 A, Kondli, Paper market, Telco T point, EDM Mall, Akshardham & Nizammudin Khatta. Traffic is very heavy in the area & Vikas marg,” it tweeted.

Traffic was heavy on NH-24 from Ghazipur border to Akshardham. Police advised commuters to avoid the route and take alternative roads.

Several commuters had taken to Twitter to mention that they were stuck on the stretch for the last one or two hours.

Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Police personnel conducted a flag march at the Ghazipur border.

Ghazipur is one of the sites where protests against the central farm laws are going on for nearly two months.

This comes after violence broke out in the national capital on January 26 during the farmers’ tractor rally. Several public and private properties were damaged in acts of vandalism by the protestors.

A total of 394 police personnel sustained injuries in the violence and several of them are still admitted to hospitals. Nineteen people have been arrested so far and over 25 criminal cases registered by Delhi Police in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor march on Tuesday, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava had said.

Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General (Law and Order) said the police personnel have been deployed at UP gate to look that “anti-national elements” do not infiltrate the protests.

He said few farmer organisations voluntarily ended their protest from Chilla Border and Dalit Prerna Sthal opposing the January 26 incident.

“As far as Baghpat is concerned, local officials told us that they explained to farmers the ongoing NHAI project and they ended the protest last night. Some people are still present at UP Gate. Talks are going on, we have deployed spotters to look for rowdy and anti-national elements so that they don’t infiltrate peaceful protests in UP. We will talk to farmer organisations and ensure that protests are called off at the earliest,” Kumar said.

“If Delhi Police asks for our help in connection with the violence (on 26th January) we will help them. We won’t allow any such element – who did this on a national festival – in our state. People have assured us that they will not provide shelter to any rowdy element,” he added.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws – 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 inputs from PTI)