Farmers' protest: Opposition delegation stopped from reaching Ghazipur site
A delegation of 15 Opposition leaders was on Thursday stopped from meeting the farmers protesting against three laws at the Ghazipur border of Delhi. The team included former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, NCP MP Supriya Sule, DMK MP Kanimozhi, and Saugata Roy from TMC. As the leaders were not permitted to cross the barricades and reach the site, they returned sooner than expected.
After Republic Day incident, security was beefed up at hotspots
Recently, Delhi Police upped security arrangements at the Tikri, Singhu, and Ghazipur borders, where thousands of farmers have been camping since November. The farmers have refused to return until the contentious farm laws are repealed. Their protest turned ugly on January 26, Republic Day, when rowdy farmers stormed into the Red Fort, hoisted flags there, and also clashed with cops across Delhi.
Police stopped Opposition leaders from meeting protesting farmers
The violence on Republic Day didn't erode the support farmers enjoyed from the Opposition, as evident from the plans of a handful of leaders. "We are on the way to meet farmers. We all support farmers, we request the government to hold talks with farmers, and justice is done to them," said Sule. The politicians, however, were stopped by police far from the site.
Want to raise the issue in Parliament: Badal
Badal, who snapped ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's NDA in September over the laws, said the Opposition wants to raise the issue in the Parliament but the Speaker isn't permitting them to. "Now all the parties will give details of what is happening here," she said. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader was shocked to see the treatment meted out to farmers.
She claimed Opposition was stopped far away from site
Speaking to reporters, Badal said the politicians were forced to alight three kilometer away from the site. "But we are undeterred. We are determined to see the conditions first hand and force the govt into action," she tweeted. In another tweet, she pointed out that if a mishap occurs, even ambulances or fire brigades won't be able to reach the farmers.
'Shocked to see treatment meted out to annadaata'
Saw first hand the conditions created at #ghazipurborder. Shocked to see the treatment being meted out to the annadaata. Farmers are barricaded behind fortress like concrete barriers barbed wire fencing. Even ambulances fire brigades cannot enter the protest site. pic.twitter.com/p8k6rbuIsE— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) February 4, 2021
Police informed MPs about another route, offered to escort them
On the visit by the Opposition leaders and their return, Delhi Police Joint Commissioner Alok Kumar said parliamentarians were informed they can't visit the site. "We informed them that movement was not possible as we have barricaded the road in view of the law and order situation. We apprised them of the alternate route and proposed to escort them, (sic)" he said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police clarified it wasn't removing nails
On a related note, pictures and videos from the Ghazipur border showed nails, that were fixed near the barricades, being removed. However, the Delhi Police clarified that the nails were just being "repositioned" and that the security arrangements at the border would remain the same. "The nails have only been repositioned. Measures were taken in view of law and order situation remain," Kumar added.