UP govt sends six officers to assist Ghaziabad administration deal with farmers

The Uttar Pradesh government has deputed six officers to assist the Ghaziabad district administration to deal with the growing number of farmer protesters at UP Gate.

The officers include deputy collectors to additional district magistrates and will be in Ghaziabad till January 2. The officers are from districts like Lucknow, Etah, Mainpuri and Bijnor.

“The officers will be deployed as magistrates and will also carry out other duties,” said Bipin Kumar, city magistrate who was officiating at additional district magistrate (city).

Ghaziabad District magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey did not take calls.

The gathering at the UP-Gate has swelled considerably over past week with about 300 to 350 tractor-trolleys also arriving from Uttarakhand. Vehicles and tents line up from the top of the UP-Gate flyover till the Khoda Colony end along the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME).

Inspector general (law and order) Jyoti Narayan also arrived in Ghaziabad on Friday evening and held a detailed meeting with administration and police officers.

Narayan directed that for the purpose of crowd management and any law-and-order situation, the UP Gate area should be divided into seven zones and 13 sectors.

“The IG also directed that public address systems be installed to curb spread of rumours and police should be on the lookout for anti-social elements,” said district information officer Rakesh Chauhan. “The district magistrate has also directed a committee comprising officers from health, transport, fire and even the magistrates to be on round the clock duty at the stie in wake of growing number of people at the protest site. He has also directed the inspection of power cables and installation of floodlights.

It was also directed that the health department also deploy a team for regular check-ups for protesters and make arrangements to test for Covid-19.

‘We didn’t block the road’

Even as the Delhi to Ghaziabad carriageway of the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME) was blocked for the third time this week on Saturday, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Tikait) blamed the administration and police.

The road was blocked for more than five hours, forcing administration to divert traffic to other border sites. While the Ghaziabad to Delhi carriageway had been blocked since December 3, protesters had blocked the other road too alleging that the police were stopping their supporters in other districts from joining them.

The blockade on Saturday was the fifth time that the highways were completed blocked, the previous occassions being December 8, 14, 21 and 22.

“There were about 300 tractor-trolleys which had arrived from Uttarakhand on Friday evening and they blocked the highway on Saturday morning. The volunteers of the BKU were not involved. We repeatedly requested them not to block roads but to no avail,” said a BKU leader at UP Gate.

The BKU (Tikait) on Saturday evening said that farmer groups, that were their supporters, were stuck in Rampur.

Rakesh Tikait, BKU national spokesperson, however, denied that the blockades were put up by protesting farmers.

“We did not block the highways and in fact the police and the administration had done it,” Tikait said at UP Gate while maintaining similar stance which he put up during the 10-hour blockade on December 22.

During the blockade on Saturday which lasted from 11am to 4.30pm, protesting youths and farmers also blocked the Ghazipur to Vaishali slip road which was finally opened around 3pm up on intervention of senior farmers’ leaders.

The protesters also played DJ music in tractors which they drove freely on the highway lanes and also resorted to sloganeering and clicking of selfies besides playing volley-ball on the blocked roads.

The protest site at the UP Gate is growing every day in terms of gathering with tractor-trolleys now lined up in front of Khoda Colony extend up to the UP-Gate flyover where special tents have been put up.

“We estimate that the proportion of BKU volunteers is about 20-25% of the gathering while majority are now from Uttarakhand and Punjab,” a BKU leader quoted above, said.

“There was no law-and-order situation at UP Gate. Farmers blocked the road and later opened it on their own,” said Vipin Kumar, city magistrate who was officiating at additional district magistrate (city).

BKU faction continued protest at Chilla Border:

At the other Chilla border in Noida, members of BKU’s Bhanu faction continued their hunger strike on Saturday while they were also joined by group from Aligarh.

“They came to show their support but left later today. Eleven of our brothers are on an intermittent hunger strike and we will continue to do so until our demands are met,” said state president, Bhanu, Yogesh Pratap Singh.

The Noida police said that there have been no law-and-order issues at the border.

“The status quo is being maintained for now. The new group that arrived from Aligarh handed over their memorandum of demands before leaving and traffic from Noida to Delhi continues to move via the DND flyway,” said deputy commissioner of police, zone 1, Rajesh S.

Source: Read Full Article