Farmers’ Protest: Commuters stranded due to police barricading

- February 14, 2024
| By : Muhammad Tahir |

Heavy police deployment and multiple layers of barricades at the Ghazipur border has made life difficult for commuters and visitors to chicken and fish wholesale markets

Heavy police deployment at Delhi borders

Due to farmers’ protest march, heavy police and multiple layers of barricades have been deployed on all borders of the national capital including Ghazipur, leading to severe traffic jam at several places in the national capital.

Commuters are experiencing problems and are desperate after being stuck on the Ghazipur border following complete blockage of road by the police at the UP Gate.

Bunty Francis, 42, was going to Ghazipur murga mandi for purchases, but had to spend a long time on the road due to barricading.  

“The commuters who used to visit Ghazipur paper market, murga-machhli (chicken-fish) market and also go to Noida use this [blocked] road. Now they need to go via Anand Vihar which means an extra five km at least,” Bunty, a resident of Khoda colony, told Patriot.

Police have blocked the road connecting Ghazipur to Sarai Kale Khan. 

Barbed wires in place to thwart farmers’ protest

During the last protest in 2020, the farmers had pitched themselves on the roads by the side of the flyover. To ensure there is no repeat of this, the police have blocked both roads. 

“I got off from the auto far back. I have now been walking from a distance of a kilometre. There are no stairs to go down from the flyover, so it’s difficult for us,” Bunty said.

In Ghazipur, Asia’s largest mandi of fruits and vegetables, thousands of people, including farmers, visit daily to sell the produce. 

The flyover is still open but people who need to go to Ghazipur mandi use this road. 

Despite problems, Bunty’s sympathy lies with the farmers and he thinks that the government should listen to farmers’ demands.

“The government should talk about the problems of the farmers and solve them. They should accept their demands. It is not the government that grows crops but farmers. Vo bhi hamare liye hi kar rahe hain (they are doing it only for us),” Bunty concluded.

Vehicular movement hit by barricades

People were wandering and feeling helpless as vehicles were turning back and returning.

Banwari, an elderly man, was also inconvenienced along with wife Savitri. 

Belonging to Khurja district in UP, Banwari was going to a hospital to check on his relatives. But he faced a major dilemma since the bus dropped them off at a different place. 

“We used to get off at Kalyanpuri gurudwara but this time they dropped us here. We were not aware that the road is blocked,” the couple expressed their concern to Patriot

“I am already sick and feeling dizzy,” Savitri added before the couple left in search of a new way with the help of a local.

People were approaching a nearby forest to go to the other side but they complained that the police were not allowing them and they were being sent back.

Three daily-wage labourers, who work near the Ghazipur mandi, were also stopped from the taking their usual route. 

Dheeraj works in a paper market, and was looking for the road to go there. 

“We usually take this (blocked road) for commuting. But now we need to go around and take a longer route,” he told Patriot

“When farmers protested here last, they left a space for us to go there,” he recalled before returning.

A group of men and women, who were coming from Ghaziabad and were on their way to attend a funeral at a crematorium, were forced to use the forest to go to the other side.   

Apart from them, many others, including gig workers, also faced problems at the border.

The last round of discussions between the government and the protesting farmers over the latter’s demands, including minimum support price (MSP) ended without a resolution so the relationship between the government and farmers is still tense.