Farmers protest 'Black Day' at Ghaziabad; will adhere to Covid protocols

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

As farmers in Ghaziabad on began 'Black Day' protests on Wednesday to mark completion of six months of their agitation against Centre's agricultural laws, the Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait assured that the protests will be carried out peacefully in adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

"Protests will be done peacefully. We are following the Covid-19 protocols. Not many are expected to come here. People are putting up black flags wherever possible to mark the protests," Tikait told ANI.

The farmer union leader said that they were protesting because the Centre was not listening to them. "It has been 6 months now, but the Centre is not listening to us. So, farmers are putting up black flags", he said.

"We will continue the farmer protests till the time Centre repeals the farm laws. We had planned to protest by putting tri-colour flags. However, the authorities had objections to it and hence, we decided to mark this protest by hoisting black flags", said Tikait.

With security intensified at Singhu border, Tikait said people were expressing their support to the farmers by hoisting black flags at their homes, on their tractors or other vehicles.

People were seen gathered in the morning at the border area for the protest against the three farm laws that were enacted in September 2020.

Also, keeping in view of the current Covid-19 situation, the farmer leader stressed that protestors will follow all Covid-19 protocols. "Not many people are here. We all are wearing masks and will follow social distancing. We will try not to overcrowd," he said.

Tikait also alleged that the Centre was deliberately changing the rates of Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizers as per the Centre's convenience.

"Earlier the rate of DAP fertilizer was Rs 1900. When our agitation intensified, its rate dropped down to Rs 1200. However, this rate drop was in place only for a period of three to four months and now again, the rates have gone up."

The farmer leader said that the farmers will continue their agitation until the Centre repeals its three farm laws and have also written to the Union Agriculture minister on the same issue.

"Our only demand is that all three farm laws should be repealed and farmers should get the required MSP. If the Centre does not agree to our demands, we will continue to protest. There is no definite period for how long the agitation will last," Tikait said.

On May 20, Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) gave a call to observe May 26 as a 'Black Day For Democracy'.

"That is the day PM Narendra Modi led Government took oath of office in 2014 and then again on 30th May in 2019. 26th May is the day when the 'Chalo Dilli' Kisan Andolan completes six months. It is also the day when the All India Strike called by the Central Trade Unions becomes six months old," read an official release by the SKM.

Following this call, several leaders from various political parties offered their support to the protests.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police said that it will take action against those flouting the law.

"We urge people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour & not to demonstrate any kind of gathering. Any kind of illegal activity or entry will not be permitted at borders. Action will be taken against those breaking laws", said Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police spokesperson.

Currently Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are observing a Covid-19 imposed lockdown.

Farmers have been protesting since November 26 last year against the farm laws passed by the Centre including Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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