Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday reached the farmers’ protest site at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border where he met Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait. The Maharashtra leader arrived at Ghazipur when security has been further tightened at the farmers’ protest site. Raut, one of the handful of people wearing a face mask at the site, met Tikait and other protestors off the stage when he reached around 1 pm.
“The way vandalism unfolded here after January 26 and an attempt made to suppress the movement and Tikait, we felt it is our responsibility to stand by the farmers’ and extend support of the whole of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray saahab,” Raut told reporters.
“We spoke to Tikait sahib, gave our message and expressed solidarity, Raut said, adding “Govt should speak to farmers in a proper way. Ego would not help run the country: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut at Ghazipur border.”
Earlier on January 26, Raut had termed the violence during a tractor rally taken out by farmers in Delhi as national shame which stained their protest against the new agri laws. The Centre too will have to take responsibility for the developments, he had said.
Interacting with media Raut had said it is the arrogance of the central government which has led to the deteriorating situation in Delhi and asked it to introspect as to why the law and order in the national capital collapsed.
Meanwhile, a farmers’ mahapanchayat in Bijnor, the fourth such congregation in western Uttar Pradesh in as many days, on Monday resolved to relocate smaller protests in the region to Ghazipur.
Thousands of farmers and locals from Bijnor and surrounding areas started pouring in at ITI Ground on tractors and other vehicles for the mahapanchayat, which started at 11 am with several regional farmer leaders in attendance.
Bharatiya Kisan Union national president Naresh Tikait, whose union is protesting at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border for over two months now, was said to be attending the ‘Kisaan Samman mahapanchayat’, according to ‘munaadis’ (beat of drums for public announcements) done in several villages and towns preceding the event.
Although he skipped the event, his son and BKU youth wing president Gaurav Tikait attended the mahapanchayats convened after similar ones in Muzaffarnagar, Mathura and Baghpat districts over the past three days, with each such congregation witnessing a turnout of thousands of people and resolving to extend support to the ongoing stir at the Delhi borders.
Heavy security deployment with multi-layer barricades was witnessed at the Ghazipur border on Monday.
Hundreds of security personnel, including the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF), kept vigil.
Drones were being used to monitor the situation and vehicles checked as more support continued to flow in for the BKU from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Apart from the barricades, barbed wire was installed to stop people moving on foot.
Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey and Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani reviewed the situation on the ground as they visited Ghazipur, Seemapuri and Dilshad Garden areas amid the ongoing farmers’ stir at Delhi-UP borders.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.