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Police move to clear farmer protest sites

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 28, 2021 Published on January 28, 2021

Tension mounts at Ghazipur border with Section 144 imposed

Police in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana started action against farmers camped at their borders, beginning with Ghazipur where tension mounted late in the evening with farmer leader Rakesh Tikait threatening to commit suicide if he and his supporters were removed forcibly.

The administration had cut off power and water supply and the farmers sat in the dark, lighting woodfires to keep warm in the winter night. At Singhu, the main protest site on GT Road, a JCB machine was deployed to dig trenches in the road to stop the protesters from entering Delhi.

Protesters were removed from Palwal in Haryana and several places in western UP while the police imposed Section 144 disallowing assembly of more than four persons at Ghazipur.

“I will commit suicide if the farm laws are not taken back. This Government wants to destroy farmers... they have cut off our power, water. But I am sitting right here. I will hang from this stage if I am removed. My village brothers will get me water. Till then, we will all sit here,” said Tikait while the venue of the protest was surrounded by police and the Rapid Action Force.

All India Kisan Sabha joint secretary and Rajya Sabha member KK Ragesh, who was present at the site, said the police can remove the farmers’ tents only after arresting them. “They came with BJP leaders. The Modi Government is trying to use force to suppress the agitation. We will not allow the Delhi Police to serve the interests of the RSS and corporates. We will not move,” he said.

Probe by special cell

Separately, the Delhi police said in a statement that a Special Cell is investigating the conspiracy to create an “international embarrassment for the Government on the Republic Day”. “A criminal case has been registered and is being investigated under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sections of the IPC dealing with sedition. The role and conduct of organisations and individuals based in India as well as those out of the country are being probed,” the police said.

AIKS leaders Hannan Mollah and Ashok Dhawlecountered, saying the conspiracy was to demean the protest, and Tuesday’s violence was proof of that.

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Published on January 28, 2021
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