Another BKU faction reaches Noida; homage paid to 'martyrs' of farmers stir

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Noida (UP), Dec 17 (PTI) Another group of farmers reached Noida on Thursday and attempted to move to Delhi to join the bigger stir against the new central farm laws but were prohibited by police deployed in a large number near the Chilla border.

Scores of members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ambavat) faction were stopped near Mahamaya flyover on the Noida-Delhi Link Road, with the development obstructing traffic movement on the key route, according to police officials.

'The Noida-Delhi Link Road via Chilla is partially closed. Movement from Delhi to Noida is allowed but not otherwise, due to the farmers' stir,' a Noida Traffic Police official told PTI.

'Commuters have been advised to opt the DND or the Kalindi Kunj route for travelling to and from Delhi,' the official said, adding that the route has been diverted from Dalit Prerna Sthal to the DND flyway.

Meanwhile, protestors from various districts of western Uttar Pradesh and chiefly belonging to the BKU (Bhanu) and the BKU (Lok Shakti) stayed put at the Chilla border and the Dalit Prerna Sthal, respectively.

Scores of BKU (Lok Shakti) members paid tribute to a 65-year-old Sikh preacher supporting the farmers' agitation who allegedly committed suicide near the Singhu border on Wednesday.

'BKU (Lok Shakti) chief Master Sheoraj Singh along with several members of the union assembled at the gate number 5 of the Dalit Prerna Sthal and paid tributes to Sant Ram Singh who shot himself dead and 16 other martyrs who have laid down their lives for the farmers' cause,' BKU (Lok Shakti) national spokesperson Shailesh Kumar Giri said.

'The Centre's three new anti-farmer laws pushed them into taking the extreme step. The farmers of the country will always remember their sacrifice,' Giri alleged.

At the Chilla border, Yogesh Pratap Singh, the UP unit chief of the BKU (Bhanu), remained on hunger strike which had started on December 14 along with some supporters, according to a protestor belonging to his faction.

The protestors who have gathered at the Noida border want to proceed to Delhi to join the bigger stir called by farmers from Punjab and Haryana.

Thousands of farmers are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

They have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

Government officials said efforts are being made for next round of talks between representatives of the Centre and the farmers so that the logjam over the new laws could end. PTI KIS KJ