#KisanRally: Allowed to enter Delhi post-midnight, farmers end protest
Protesting farmers who were stopped from entering Delhi on Tuesday ended their rally in the early hours of Wednesday after they were let into the national capital post midnight. Thousands of farmers ended their long and tense protest at Kisan Ghat. On Tuesday, Delhi police used water cannons and tear gas on the farmers at UP-Delhi border, a move which was widely criticized.
The 'Kisan Kranti Yatra' was organized by Bharatiya Kisan Union and it started on September 23 from Tikait Ghat in Haridwar. The farmers intended to end their protest at Kisan Ghat but were denied entry in the capital. In some areas of the Delhi-UP border, Section 144 of CrPc was imposed, and heavy security deployed. The traffic on Sansad Marg was also closed.
The farmers' demands included full implementation of recommendations by Swaminathan Commission, loan waivers, reduction of fuel prices, and payment of pending sugarcane dues. Farmers also argued NGT ban on ten-year-old diesel vehicles will hit them hard and demanded it should be scrapped. They also wanted uninterrupted power supply. A farmer said this protest was for their rights and they didn't want alms.
About farmers leaving the capital, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Pankaj Singh said all of them left by 6 AM. Reportedly, the farmers began dispersing at around 4 AM. Those whose tractors were damaged after police clashes, waited for Ghazipur police to fix it, and then left Delhi. Some of the farmers were upset with the treatment they got and returned unsatisfied.
"The assault was uncalled for, and the mistrust only deepened. We can feel no satisfaction from the meetings that were held and need to see the results on the field to feel any trust towards the government," said 60-year-old farmer from Bulandshahr district.
The protest turned into a political slugfest with leaders of Opposition slamming the ruling BJP for not catering to their demands. Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav said the protest showed farmers were unhappy and they supported them. As a result of the protest, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called an emergency meeting, and later State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat met the farmers.
"Of the 11 demands, seven were accepted but the two important demands of implementation of the Swaminathan Report and the loan waivers were not. We were told by Singh that these are financial matters and will be deliberated upon later," said Yudhvir Singh, general secretary, BKU.