A farmers' march to the national capital demanding pending sugarcane dues, loan waivers among others was stopped near the Delhi border, this morning. The farmers, numbering over thousands, were on their way to Kisan Ghat, the memorial of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a renowned farmer leader, located in heart of national capital.
The farmers, who have been on a 'pad yatra' from Sahranpur on September 11 under the banner of Rashtriya Kisan Sangh, started their march from Noida's Transport Nagar this morning after the talks between Bhartiya Kisan Sanghatan and the Agriculture Ministry failed to materialise. They were stopped by police near Ghazipur on National Highway 24.
"Eleven representatives are being taken to the Ministry of Agriculture. If our demands our accepted, then we will return from here (Delhi-UP border) else we will march to Delhi," a farmer was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Personnel of Delhi Police and paramilitary equipped with riot gears have been stationed at Ghazipur to stop the marching farmers. While on the other side of the border heavy deployment of Uttar Pradesh police along with PAC and RAF were also seen.
"Why are farmers (Kisan) are not allowed to go upto Kisan Ghat? Is section 144 imposed? They are destroying the farmers," said a farmer.
The farmer are carrying a list of 16 demands, including the formation of a commission on the lines of the Swaminathan Committee's report. The MS Swaminathan Committee has recommended the government to provide 50 per cent profit over and above the cost of production to farmers. The other issues raised by farmers include minimum support price of their crops, and reduction in electricity and diesel prices.
Puran Singh, National President, Indian Farmers Organization, said: "After our negotiations with Agriculture Ministry officials failed, we are left with only this option of marching to Delhi to draw attention towards our demands."
Last year, a similar protest march turned violent as police used water cannons and tear gas at protesting farmers at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border by the Delhi Police. The farmers agitating under the aegis of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) were demanding loan waiver, reduction in electricity tariff and pension for farmers aged above 60.
With inputs from ANI