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Delhi's Singhu, Tikri borders still shut, agitating farmers reluctant to go to Burari
New Delhi, November 28, 2020
Traffic movement on both sides at Singhu and Tikri continued to be disrupted for the second day on Saturday as farmers planning to hold a protest in Delhi rallied at these interstate borders and were reluctant to move to Burari where they were allowed to move in.
Delhi Traffic Police diverted traffic from Mukarba Chowk and GTK Road to prevent inconvenience to commuters due to rallying farmers, who have been travelling towards Delhi in buses, trucks and tractor-trolleys.
The farmers who had gathered on the Delhi borders were allowed only to move towards Burari ground, that too escorted by police. However, a large number of protesters at Singhu and Tikri asserted that they wished to go either to the Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar in central Delhi to protest.
Police officers were, meanwhile, trying to convince farmers to proceed to the Burari ground but the farmers seemed adamant, fearing that camping at the Burari ground would weaken their agitation against the three central farm laws.
Meanwhile, a section of Delhi-bound farmers who had gone to the Nirankari ground in north Delhi's Burari later returned, saying that "it is a strategy to confine us".
"The police are not letting our tractor-trolleys to come out once we enter the ground. We don't want to go there now. We will lay a siege at the border entry/exit point only. We won't go to Burari," said a protesting farmer.
Meanwhile, arrangement of water and other necessities were made for farmers to camp at Burari ground on Friday evening.
Senior police officers were supervising the protest site at Burari even as a constant vigil was on at Singhu and Tikri borders.
Early this morning, the farmers, who had been camping at the border, raised slogans against the "black laws".
Amid high security arrangements, the sloganeering continued on both the borders -- Singhu and Tikri -- with thousands of farmers sticking to their demands seeking the roll back of the three central farm laws passed by Parliament earlier this year.
In an unusual sight, the farmers were self barricading themselves so that peace and harmony could be maintained as the agitations continued but the road blockade was leading problems for commuters as traffic was diverted on various routes leading towards these border points.
In a single voice they have stuck to their demands and this agitation has been planned for two months. They have said that they will not end their protest until the government gives in to their demands -- repeal the agriculture laws passed in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
Kishan Ekta group members, who were protesting at Tikri border, say they could sit in protest for six months if their demands are not fulfilled.
"We have arrangements for food and other things for the next six months. We can easily sit here in protest for months if our demands are not met," said the group which came from Fatehabad.
Security forces have been kept busy in preparing deployment arrangements with senior officials briefing them on how to handle the situation as the agitation entered the weekend after the marches started on Thursday from Punjab, Haryana and four more states.
With the possibility of more farmers approaching the border and trying to enter the national capital, concrete slabs, concertina wire, and trucks filled with sand are still in place.
Edgy policemen have fired teargas rounds on Friday to keep huge throngs of agitating farmers at the Singhu and Tikri borders in a day-long face-off.
Later in the evening, the administration finally relented and offered the Nirankari Samagam grounds at Burari in north Delhi to farmers leaders protesting on Singhu Border on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway.
A few farmer leaders reached Burari ground late while several stayed back at the barricades.
The Tikri border too witnessed similar clashes the whole day on Friday as farmers were targeted with water cannons by police when they attempted to move into the national capital with their trucks and trackers.
The police also blocked farmers' way with concrete slabs placed on the road.
As per ground report, over 300 tractors and several trucks are still parked on the other side of both the borders. However, portable toilets, water tankers, mobile dispensary and "langar" service were provided for the farmers in the night.