Farmers 'vindicated' as protest site barricades removed

'We stand vindicated', say farm unions as cops begin removing barricades at farmers' protest sites

Delhi police had put up barricades and concertina at the protest site at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border last year

Delhi Police personnel remove barricades from the farmers' protest site at Ghazipur border in New Delhi. Credit: PTI Photo

Politics kicked in as the government on Friday removed barricades at two farm protest sites on Delhi border 11 months after Delhi police had put them, evoking strong reactions from farmer groups and social media. 

Taking a jibe at the development, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who had built a momentum against the government in 2014 over the new land acquisition bill, which was finally withdrawn, said the government will soon withdraw the farm laws as well. Meanwhile Samajwadi Party said farmers have already decided to dethrone the BJP in 2022 polls. 

There was no indication from the government's side, however, on any climb-down on the issue of the three contentious farm laws even as former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was in the national capital to meet Home Minister Amit Shah amid buzz of some key announcement to mollify the protesting farmers.

Read | Cops removing barricades at Ghazipur farmers' protest site

Delhi police had put up barricades and concertina at the protest site at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border last year. The Republic Day violence during a protest of farmers had led to further such measures.

The police said the temporary barricading is being removed to ease out vehicular movement on the stretch earlier being occupied by a group of farmers on NH-9. The action came after a direction by the Supreme Court on October 21 Supreme Court, which while upheld the farmers’ right to protests also said they can not keep roads blocked for an indefinite time and called for unblocking them.

As the removal of the barricading began at two farmer protest sites Tikri and Ghazipur, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmers, said it was the police and not farmers who had blocked roads. Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur were the border points at which the farmers were holding protests against the Centre's three farm laws since November last year.

“The future course of the ongoing farmers’ protest would be decided by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is leading the movement against the three farm laws,” BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said.

Also Read | Farmers' protest: Delhi Police starts removing barricades at Tikri border point

"Only artificial barricades have been removed so far, soon the three anti-agriculture laws will also be withdrawn. Hail Annadata Satyagraha," Rahul Gandhi said with the hashtag 'FarmersProtest'.


Congress tweeted “our farmers have been protesting peacefully for 11 months on the borders of Delhi. They have remained steadfast through water canons, lathis and the bitter head and cold. We are committed to their cause and we will help through it all.”

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav  said, “farmers are the worst sufferers in this government and agriculture is in trouble. They want to wipe out the BJP.  This is the country of farmers and farmers are losing their lives because they are standing in queues…Five years are going to be completed, at least tell us whether the income of farmers has doubled or not,” Yadav said attacking the BJP government in UP on a number of farmer- related issues.

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