The Delhi Police on Monday set up concrete barriers at Ghazipur and the Delhi-Ghaziabad border as thousands of farmers from neighbouring states continued to protest against the Centre’s three agricultural reform laws for the fifth consecutive day, the Hindustan Times reported.
An unidentified police officer told the newspaper that cement jersey barriers have been placed at the Ghazipur border to stop farmers from entering with their vehicles. “Since farmers have called for blocking Delhi-Ghaziabad, Delhi-Gurugram and Delhi-Faridabad borders also, adequate measures are being taken,” the officer added.
On Sunday, farmers’ organisations rejected Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s conditional invitation for early talks. They also refused to shift to a government-designated area in Burari area of Delhi, calling it an “open jail”. The farmers appeared ready for a long sit-in, equipped with food rations that could last for months.
At a press conference later, Surjeet Singh Phul, Punjab president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Krantikari, had threatened to block the roads to Delhi from five entry points – Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur, and Mathura – if their demands were not met. On Friday, the police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protestors before letting them march into the Capital and stage a protest at a designated site. However, the farmers want to protest at the iconic Jantar Mantar, near the Parliament in Central Delhi.
The police said that they are closely monitoring the situation at border areas, adding that the security is being maintained as per the requirements.
Take alternate routes to enter and exit Haryana: Traffic police
On Monday morning, the Delhi Traffic Police advised commuters to take alternate routes to enter and exit Haryana. The closure of borders has also resulted in heavy traffic on other alternate routes between Delhi and Haryana.
In another tweet, the police said Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala Jhatikera, Badusari, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam vihar and Dundahera borders were open and available to go to Haryana.
Reports said that Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar met at BJP chief JP Nadda’s house in Delhi on Sunday night for over two hours to resolve the crisis. Tomar and Shah met again on Monday afternoon.
Farmers and traders have alleged that the government wants to discontinue the minimum support price regime in the name of reforms. They fear that the laws will leave them at the mercy of corporate powers. The government has maintained that farm laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.