New Delhi: The Kisan Kranti Padyatra by the Bharatiya Kisan Union ended at the Kisan Ghat in the national capital in the wee hours on Wednesday. The protest march, which was started on September 23, came to an end after the protesting farmers reached Kisan Ghat, the memorial of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a renowned farmer leader on late Tuesday night.
“The ‘Kisan Kranti Padyatra’ that started on September 23 had to end at Kisan Ghat. Since Delhi Police did not allow us to enter, we protested. Our aim was to finish the Yatra, which we have done now. Now we will go back to our villages,” Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait told ANI.
Earlier on Tuesday, protests by thousands of farmers turned violent after the police stopped them at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. The security forces resorted to water cannons and tear-gar shells to disperse the agitating farmers. However by night, the police opened the barricades at the border allowing the entrance of the farmers.
To pacify the anger of the farmers, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat assured them that their demands will be looked into. The move came after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held discussions with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and a few others. The government had also announced that a committee of chief ministers will look into their demands.
The farmers were agitating to demand loan waiver, reduction in electricity tariff and pension for farmers aged above 60. The yatra began from Haridwar with the score of farmers from Gonda, Basti and Gorakhpur participating in the protest march.
The protesting farmers had spent Monday night on the roads under the open sky as they were not allowed to enter the national capital. National Highways leading to Delhi 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.
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.
Schools, Colleges to Remain Closed in Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad district administration, as a preventive step, announced that all the schools and colleges will remain closed on Wednesday in view of the farmers agitation. The announcement was made after the protesting farmers said that they are not satisfied with the Centre’s response and their agitation will continue until their all demands are accepted.
Opposition Slams Modi Government
The Opposition left no stone unturned to slam the government in connection with the Kisan Kranti Padyatra. While the Congress alleged that the “Badshah of Delhi Sultanate was drunk on power”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal batted for the farmers and questioned why they were not allowed to enter Delhi.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati termed the police lathi-charge on agitating farmers the “height” of anarchy and warned that the ruling BJP should be prepared to bear its consequences. On the other hand, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashvi Yadav said that by discarding the Swaminathan committee report, the Modi government has stabbed the farmers in the back.