Delhi-Noida border sealed amid farmers’ agitation march

Noida: Three Union Ministers – junior Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda, junior Home Minister Nityanand Rai, and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal – will meet representatives of the protesting farmers in Chandigarh at 6 pm on Thursday, reported NDTV.

With the scheduled the BJP-led Centre hopes to end the woes of the protesting farmers who have planned – a tractor march – to highlight demands like a law to guarantee MSP for crops, pension for farmers, and crop insurance.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday stepped up security along its borders with Delhi as thousands of farmers and villages descended on the ground with a plan to march to the Parliament, officials said.

In a video message shared by news agency ANI, a senior cop said that heavy forces have been deployed at the Noida-border crossing and that the border will be sealed for 24 hours.

Motorists spent hours in the crawling traffic as the police personnel with heavy equipment were on alert to restrict movement on the road at the Delhi-Noida borders near Mayur Vihar, as the farmers tried to enter the national capital.

Under the banners of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha, farmers on Thursday gathered outside the NTCP office in Noida Sector 24 and the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority’s office, demanding 10 percent of abadi land.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait joined the protestors in Greater Noida in the afternoon, where his Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members have been protesting outside the local authority office.

In Noida, the protestors are led by the Bharatiya Kisan Parishad, whose activists have held camps outside the local authority office since December 2023.

“In view of the farmers’ movement, barriers are being installed at all the borders of Delhi and at Kisan Chowk and other places. Each vehicle is being checked and passed, due to which the traffic is moving slowly,” a police spokesperson said.

“Senior officials and other personnel are present at various locations to control the traffic. The traffic is being monitored continuously,” he added.

The farmers demand that 10 percent of abadi plots or their equivalent compensation be given to them in lieu of land acquired from them for development projects.

Speaking about the protest march, a farmer said, “Nobody listens to us; what should we do? It seems that we have been protesting for over 5 years now. We will take what is in our rights. We are not asking for anything extra; we are asking for what has already been passed. It is our right for 10 percent of Abadi land.”

The farmers led by the Bharatiya Kisan Parishad assembled at the Mahamaya Flyover in Noida at 12.30 pm on Thursday with a proposed plan to march towards the Parliament.

“From Mahamaya Flyover, the farmers shall march towards the Parliament in Delhi to press for our long-pending demands,” BKP leader Sukhbir Yadav ‘Khalifa’ said.

Ahead of the protest demonstration by the farmers in Noida and Greater Noida, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police had already imposed CrPC Section 144 for Wednesday and Thursday.

The police also issued a traffic advisory, cautioning the commuters against diversions on some routes in the twin cities in view of the farmers’ movement on tractors.

By 1 pm, heavy traffic jams were witnessed on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, DND loop, Kanlindi Kunj bridge, around Dalit Prerna Sthal, Atta Chowk and Rajnigandha Chowk in Noida.

Similar snarls were witnessed at Pari Chowk in Greater Noida, with the police saying that they were making efforts to ensure smooth traffic movement.

The farmer groups in Noida and Greater Noida have been on protest since December 2023, with demands for hiked compensation and developed plots against their land acquired by the local development authorities in the past.