After the Supreme Court on Thursday, October 21 observed that farmers can not indefinitely block roads, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) stated it was not the protesters but police who have placed barricades at the Ghazipur border on National Highway 9. A group of BKU farmers, under the leadership of Rakesh Tikait, protested against the police and claimed they are ready to make way for the public, according to reports in The Indian Express.
Right after the violence on Republic Day, the Delhi Police had massively tightened security at all three farmer protest sites. At the Ghazipur border, there are at least 12 layers of temporary barricades with cement slabs and concertina wires on the NH-9. Furthermore, the lane that connects Khora to Delhi has been heavily barricaded as well.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police clarified the barricading was done only to prohibit farmers from entering the national capital. The publication quoted DCP (East) Priyanka Kashyap as saying, "We have created diversions on National Highway-9 for both public and protesters. All barricades can't be removed. They (farmers) are sitting on the UP side."
Barricades! An Everyday Problem For The Farmers
Speaking about the roadblocks, the farmers claimed that apart from the public, they too are facing issues due to the barricading as they are forced to take a longer route to enter Delhi to get basic amenities like food materials.
A farmer by the name of Sukhba Singh from Meerut stated that he has been protesting at Ghazipur for over 11 months now and added, "My son and I run a small langar at Ghazipur. We give free chai and fritters to everyone but have to travel from the border to the Khora area and then to Anand Vihar to buy groceries at the mandi."
"It takes us at least an hour. If the Delhi Police opens the road, we can easily use the highway and reach the mandi within 15-20 minutes," Singh was further quoted in the report.