Over 1,500 farmers from western Uttar Pradesh began their protest march from Noida’s Sector 69 on Saturday. They will try to reach Kisan Ghat in Delhi. These farmers, mostly of them from areas in and around the sugarcane belt of Saharanpur, are protesting against the government over nonfulfillment of their demands. The farmers are demanding payment of sugarcane crop dues, full loan waiver and making electricity used in farming free. The farmers decided to hold the protest march after talks between Bhartiya Kisan Sanghatan and the Agriculture Ministry failed in Noida on Friday.
According to The Wire, the farmers were not happy with the cluelessness of the government representative. “They sent someone to talk to us. He had no idea about our demands and he could not promise anything. We are only demanding what is our right and that itself has become very difficult for this government to understand,” Rajendra Yadav, the state president of the Rashtriya Kisan Sangathan, was quoted as saying by The Wire. The farmers have been marching towards Delhi Since September 11.
Last year also, the farmers had held similar protests and tried to enter National Capital. The stir had turned violent with the police resorting to water cannon and lathi-charge. It drew widespread condemnation with many pointing out that the farmers were being attacked on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2nd.
Police had resorted to tear gas, water cannons and mild lathicharge as the thousands of farmers tried to enter Delhi near Ghaziabad on October 2, 2018.
The situation grew tense when despite police warnings, the farmers tried to break the barricade in their attempt to enter the national capital. TV visuals showed violent faceoff between farmers and the police near UP Gate at Delhi’s Ghazipur area. Anticipating trouble, Delhi Police had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in East Delhi. Last year also, farmers had similar demands. Their list of demands included unconditional loan waiver for farmers, clearing of dues by sugar mills, higher prices for crops, free electricity for farms and a cut in diesel prices.