‘Not Indo-China border’: Govt slammed for turning farmer protest sites into ‘war zone’

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been camping at Delhi's borders for weeks, seeking a repeal of the three agriculture laws.

New Delhi: Security has been stepped up with the deployment of extra personnel and strengthening of barricades at Delhi’s borders of Ghaziapur, Singhu and Tikri, where farmers set up protest sites against the Central government’s farm laws over two months ago.

Security arrangements continue to be strengthened at the Delhi-UP border site, which is galvanizing farmers from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, days after an emotional appeal by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait.

Monday saw an overnight addition of as many as 2,000 iron nails across the breadth of the road at these borders to further restrict the movement of agitating farmers. Workers under the watch of police personnel on Monday were also seen hooking iron rods between two rows of cement barriers on a flank of the main highways.

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Another portion of the highway at the Delhi-Haryana border is practically blocked now as a makeshift cement wall has come up there. Drones have also been deployed to monitor the protesters. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been camping at Delhi’s borders for weeks, seeking a repeal of the three agriculture laws.

New Delhi: Enhanced security at Singhu border during farmers’ protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police alerted commuters about the closure of borders and suggested alternative roads for travel. It also led to traffic congestions on many key roads in the national capital.

“Ghazipur border is closed. Traffic diverted from NH 24, NH 9, Road no 56, 57 A, Kondli, Paper market, Telco T point, EDM Mall, Akshardham & Nizammudin Khatta. Traffic is heavy on Vikas marg, IP extention, NH 24. Pl(ease) commute from other borders,” the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.

According to the police, Delhi-Ghazipur border remains closed for traffic due to the farmers’ protests. The commuters are suggested to take alternate routes via Anad Vihar, Chilla, DND, Apsara, bhopra and Loni borders, it added.

“Singhu, Saboli, piau Maniyari borders are closed. Auchandi, Lampur, Safiabad,Singhu school & Palla toll tax borders are open. Pl(ease) Take alternate route(s),” the traffic said in another tweet.

The police said traffic was diverted from NH-44 and suggested commuters to avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road and NH 44.

On Monday, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Srivastava and other senior police officers visited Ghazipur border to take stock of the security arrangements.

Police personnel placed iron nails near the barricades in an attempt to stop farmers from crossing Tikri border during their agitation against the new farm laws, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 01, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Along with politicians, Twitterati expressed shock over the extreme barricading and beefing up of security. All the arrangements looking similar to that of a national border at Pakistan and China, #FencingLikeChinaPak has been trending on the micro-blogging site with over 187K tweets, by the time of filing the story.

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Shazi786_/status/1356477261789151232

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