Scores of farmers from Uttar Pradesh protested at the Delhi-Noida border raising a host of demands including loan waivers and pension, and later agitated at the Jantar Mantar in the heart of the national capital Wednesday afternoon.
Scores of farmers from Uttar Pradesh protested at the Delhi-Noida border raising a host of demands including loan waivers and pension, and later agitated at the Jantar Mantar in the heart of the national capital Wednesday afternoon. The development comes around six hours after thousands of farmers, on a call by the BKU, “successfully culminated” their ‘Kisan Kranti Yatra’ at the Kisan Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna here after a 10-day march that had started at Tikait Ghat in Haridwar.
A senior Delhi Police officer said around 200 farmers were protesting at the Jantar Mantar. The farmers under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu), headquartred in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, reached Delhi in the afternoon after protesting near the Noida entry point on the road to Mayur Vihar.
The BKU had splintered after the demise of its chief and iconic farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait in 2011. The eldest of his four sons, Naresh Singh Tikait, who led the latest ‘Kisan Kranti Yatra’ from Haridwar to Delhi, was in 2011 elected as the BKU chief. “We are protesting the anti-farmer policies of the central government,” Ajab Singh Kasana, national vice president of BKU (Bhanu), said, adding scores of farmers from UP have joined the stir. He said the BKU (Bhanu), led by Bhanu Pratap Singh, could not join the BKU-led protest Tuesday but has “supported” their fight for the farmers cause.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Singh Tikait of the BKU said the ‘Kisan Kranti Yatra’ “was successful and completed today when farmers reached the Kisan Ghat” in Delhi.
“I am not aware about which group of farmers is now in Delhi, because our farmers had left Delhi for their homes early this morning. By this evening we can get a clear picture of what is happening,” Tikait, who was also on his way home, told PTI over phone.
According to a letter of the BKU (Bhanu), which is addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their demands include formation of a farmers council with farmers included as its members, farmers being given the right to decide the selling price of their crops, loan waivers, Rs 1 crore compensation to family of any farmer who dies in an accident, Rs 5,000 monthly pension to farmers over the age of 60.
“Families of farmers who commit suicide due to the wrong policies of the Uttar Pradesh government should be given Rs 2 crore in compensation. Families of soldiers who die on country’s border be given Rs 5 crore in compensation along with a job to one family member and security assurance,” the letter read. “The UP government should ensure repairing of streams and canals and power lines. They should also ensure their proper maintenance and water availability in the canals,” it added.