A day after rejoicing farmers left for their homes, the Tikri border stretch of Rohtak Road was opened for vehicular movement on Sunday, while work was underway to clear protest sites at Ghazipur and Singhu borders of the national capital.
According to police, barricades put up at one side of the carriageway on Rohtak Road were removed in October to allow movement of traffic. The other side of the carriageway, where the farmers were agitating, was completely cleared by the Delhi Police on Sunday, they said.
The multi-layered barriers placed at the Rohtak Road have been completely removed after the departure of the farmers, a senior police officer said.
“There is no obstruction in the way. The two sides of the road are completely open for vehicular traffic movement,” he said.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh had laid siege on Delhi’s borders on November 26 last year, demanding a repeal of three contentious farm laws of the Centre, which were repealed last month.
According to farmer leaders, Singhu border site has been cleared by over 95 per cent and a cleaning exercise has been initiated by farmer groups and non-government organisations (NGOs) on Sunday.
“Cleaning work is going on at the Singhu Border. More than 20 JCBs and over 100 volunteers are working here tirelessly to clear the stretch as soon as possible,” a representative of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said.
He said that layers of barricades, boulders and barbed wires are being removed from the border.
Another farmer leader and a member of the SKM, which was spearheading the agitation, Abhimanyu Kohar said that the Singhu border protest site has been cleared by over 95 per cent.
“Several organisations are engaged in cleaning exercises there. Barring a few langars and 1-2 tents, most of the protest site at the Singhu border has been cleared. Langars are for the volunteers engaged in cleaning exercises. The stretch is likely to be cleared completely by tonight,” Kohar said.
At the Tikri Border, the protest site has been cleared of all tents and obstacles.
“Barricades and other obstacles have been removed. The stretch (Rohtak Road) is ready for use,” a farmer leader at Tikri Border said.
At Ghazipur border, more than half of the farmers have vacated the protest site and left for their native places. The process of dismantling rest of the tents is underway.
“A stage on one of the roads occupied during the agitation has been taken down. The remaining part of the road will also be cleared for traffic movement. Most of the farmer’s have already left, while those associated with the BKU are still here and will leave as decided before December 15,” said Atul Tripathi, a farmer and member of the BKU.
Two langars are still functioning and they will be wrapped up when the rest of farmers leave, he said, adding that the road will also be cleared completely by then and all roads will be functional from December 15.
The process of clearing roads is underway at the Singhu border. The roads are likely to be open for vehicular traffic by Monday evening, a senior police officer said.
At the Ghazipur border, the roads will be completely clear only after all the farmers leave. According to information, the site will be completely vacated by December 15, said the officer.
“Once the protest site gets cleared, the specific roads will be open to ensure smooth flow of traffic,” he said.
On November 29, a bill was passed in Parliament to repeal the laws, one of the main demands of the farmers.
However, the farmers refused to end their protest, demanding that the government fulfil their other demands that included legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) and the withdrawal of police cases against them.
As the Centre accepted the pending demands, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM)suspended the farmers’ movement and announced that they will be returning home on December 11 (Friday).