Police at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad used water cannons and fired teargas to disperse the agitating farmers who were marching towards the national capital.
The farmers, thousands in number, began their agitation on September 23 at Haridwar in Uttarakhand and were moving towards Delhi, many of them on foot, scores sitting atop tractors, buses and raising slogans.
Their demands include — complete loan waiver, reduction in electricity tariff and pension to every farmer aged above 60.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), the body which organised the mega march, expressed angst over police’s use of force on the agitators.
“Why have we been stopped here (at UP-Delhi border)? The rally was proceeding in a disciplined manner. If we don’t tell our government about our problems then whom do we tell? Do we go to Pakistan or Bangladesh?,” said BKU president Naresh Tikait.
Lending support to the agitation, called Kisan Kranti Padyatra, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the farmers should not be dissuaded from pressing their demands.
“Delhi belongs to everyone. Farmers should be allowed to enter Delhi. Why are they not being allowed to enter Delhi? This is wrong. We are with the farmers and their demands,” Kejriwal told agencies.
Ahead of the mega rally, authorities had put strict arrangements in place to contain the situation. Security had been stepped up at the UP-Delhi border. Anticipating law and order problems, heavy police force had been deployed.