Farmers’ protest: Tractor rally at Delhi borders today, diversion on Eastern Peripheral Expressway

The protest by farmers camping at the borders of the national capital continued for the 43rd day on Thursday. As the seventh round of talks with the Central government on Monday remained inconclusive, the leaders of the farmers' unions demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws will intensify their agitation with tractor rallies at Delhi borders on Thursday.

Harinder Singh Lakhowal, Punjab farmer leader and General Secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), told IANS that preparations were on to intensify the agitation and make the programme on Thursday a success. He informed that farmers from Punjab are coming with their tractors for the march. Farmers from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are also joining the rally.

The protesting farmers said that today's 'Tractor March' would be a trailer of the 'Republic Day Parade' scheduled on January 26.

"Today, our tractor rally will go till Dasna, Aligarh road & then return to Ghazipur. This is a rehearsal for a similar rally on 26th January. Next round of talks with the Union Government will be held tomorrow," Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union, at Ghazipur border told news agency ANI.

The rally is expected to start from Ghaziabad and stretch till Palwal in Haryana, and return on the same route, as per an advisory issued by the Police Commissionerate Gautam Buddha Nagar.

There will be diversions at several points on Eastern Peripheral Expressway today. The expressway from Beel Akbarpur and Sirsa towards Palwal will also be closed for vehicles from 12 pm to 3 pm in light of the farmers' protest.

There will be diversions on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway during the afternoon on Thursday in view of a 'tractor rally' called by farmers protesting against the new central farm laws, Noida Police said on Wednesday. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway also known as the Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal Expressway is a 135-km-long six-lane road stretch connecting Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It passes through Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has also announced a public awareness campaign as well as several other programmes from January 6 to January 20. The SKM said the death anniversary of Sir Chhotu Ram will be observed on January 9. Sir Chhotu Ram is remembered as a farmer leader. After this, the farmers will celebrate Lohri on January 13 and Makar Sankranti on January 14 as 'Sankalp Diwas'.

Withdrawal of The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 enacted by the Central government and the legal guarantee for procurement of crops at the Minimum Support Price is being demanded by the farmers, who have been camping at the borders of Delhi since November 26, 2020.

After the seventh round of talks between the farmers-Central government failed to arrive at a consensus on Monday, the next round of talks has been fixed for January 8.

(Inputs from IANS)

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