Ground Report: Painful To See Security Measures To Intimidate Us, Farmers Remain Firm At Ghazipur Border

Ground Report: 'Painful To See Security Measures To Intimidate Us', Farmers Remain Firm At Ghazipur Border

"Prime Minister is the head of the country and if he will not hear us then who will?" a protesting farmer told The Logical Indian.

Farmers' protest at the Ghazipur border is gaining ground with each passing day. The Delhi Police have put up barricades, concrete blocks, barbed wires, and fixed nails on the road near the protest site.

On January 27, farmers at Ghazipur Border were given an ultimatum by the police to evict the protest site as soon as possible.

After this, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait in his speech refused to follow the administration's order. Tikait's video of bursting into tears and threatening to hang himself if the farm laws were not repealed, went viral. After the video came out, people residing in nearby villages and around the country started to march towards Ghazipur Border in support of the protest.

The Delhi Police restored to heavy barricading at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border as a security measure after the January 26 violence. However, the Republic day incident apart, protests have been mostly peaceful.

"There is no need of barricading for us at present, and there was also no need of it in the past as we are doing a peaceful protest," Dr Ravi Naagar, chief of Kisan Ekta Sangh's Bareli and Moradbaad unit, told The Logical Indian.

Attacking the government, Nagar said, "Farmers from different regions of the country are here, and now the government want to intimidate us by putting up barricades. The government wants to portray us as violent elements, and hence they have deployed heavy security. But we are followers of Mahatma Gandhi, will always stick to peaceful protest."

Vice president of Bhartiya Kisan Union's Uttar Pradesh unit, Harinaam Singh Verma, also raised questions over the barricading and said, "If this much security had been in place at the Indo-China border, then several of our soldiers would have been alive, and the country would have saved hundreds of acres of land."

"We are forced to sell grains worth ₹1868 at ₹1000 or 800. When anyone goes to a restaurant, they are charged approximately ₹300 for 200gms of rice, and we are forced to sell rice at ₹900 per quintal," Verma added. He reaffirmed that until these farm laws are cancelled, farmers are not going anywhere. He also claimed that BJP MLA's from Uttar Pradesh sent their goons to beat them.

Sukhwinder Singh, who lives in Canada and whose family does farming in India, came directly to Ghazipur border after landing at the airport and joined the farmers' protest.

When asked why he came directly to the protest site, Sukhwinder Singh said, "We may live there, but our soul is here. When we saw these laws, we also cried. Last year our grain was sold at ₹1700 per quintal, but this year we got only ₹1300 per quintal for our grains."

Criticising the barricading at various borders, Sukhwinder Singh said, "In the name of protection, the farmers are being intimidated, but the farmers are fearless. The more they put restrictions, more farmers will arrive here from different parts of the country."

Around 12 layers of barricading, including barbed wires, spikes, and cemented blocks, have been put in place on a 100-metre stretch at the Ghazipur border in view of the farmers' protest.

Sindhu Singh, a resident of Kalkaji, New Delhi, has been visiting Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders to support the farmer protest for a while now. He said it is very unfortunate and painful to see the security arrangements to intimidate the farmers.

"When we have a problem in our family, we go to the head of the house, and they listen to us, in the same manner, Prime Minister is the head of the country and if he will not hear us then who will?" he asked.

People from villages along the Ghazipur border are also joining the protest and are commuting daily to the protest site. There are various langars at the protest site to provide food and water to the farmers. Several people have volunteered to run these langars.

Manju Chaudhary, who lives in a village which is 7 to 8 km from the protest site, commutes daily to help people in cooking and other works.

Speaking to The Logical Indian, she said, "Whatever the Modi government has to do, whether it imposes barricading or nails, we will not leave from here. Until and unless these farm laws are repealed, we are not going anywhere."

PM's Statement

Amid the deadlock over the three farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the all-party meet had said that farmers are just one call away from the government.

Reacting to the PM's statement, Sindhu Singh said, "If Modi Ji would have loved the country's farmers then that call would have come earlier. Farmers are sitting on roads, you can directly call them, they are your people, and understanding your people should be your priority."

"You have the numbers of farmers who were in meetings, but you are not calling them. You want to show that the government is with farmers, but the farmers are not with you. Farmers are always with you. PM goes to Kashmir to join the sorrows of soldiers; he can also come to the border to have a dialogue. This country's slogan is 'Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan'. Why can't the PM have a meeting with farmers?" Singh asked.

Taking a jibe at the statement of 'one call away', Manohar Singh, a farmer from Bagpat, Uttar Pradesh said, "The government is not one call away, they are one nail away (Sarkaar ek call nahi, ek keel door hai)."

"What does it mean to say that we are one call away? We rejected the proposals they gave to us earlier. They should give us what we are asking. If PM is only one call away, then he should call us and take these laws back," Sukhwinder Singh said.

"Those who are saying about a call, where is that call going? How long does it take to make a call?" Manju Singh asked adding that it does not take two months' time to make a call.

Reacting to the PM's statement, Harinaam Singh Verma said, "Give us the number on which Prime Minister will be available. The agriculture minister has been deployed to talk with us, and that is fine, we want these laws to be repealed. Even a peon comes with the paper stating that the government is repealing the three laws, we will respect that, and will go away peacefully," Harinaam Singh added.

Internet Shutdown

Internet services were shut at Ghazipur border and surrounding areas after the January 26 clashes between the police and protesters. As per the latest reports, internet services have been restored, and the additional police deployed at the borders has also been sent back to their respective districts.

Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that the government is committed to increasing farmers' income by 2022.

He had earlier slammed the Congress for propagating lies and misleading farmers. "For two months, I kept asking the farmers' union what is 'black' in these laws? Tell me if it should be fixed. Opposition leaders criticised the agrarian reforms. But no one tried to explain how are they harming the farmers," Tomar had said during motion of thanks to the President's Address in Rajya Sabha.

Also Read: Farmers' Protest: 2,000 Teargas Shells Fired On Republic Day To Control Protesters
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Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh
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