Delhi border blockade by farmers causing inconvenience to people: Govt tells Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Blocking of borders by agitating farmers is causing inconvenience to residents of Delhi and neighbouring states, besides financial loss to the people and the exchequer, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said large convoys of protesting farmers in tractors tried to 'furiously' force their way and go past police barricades to enter Delhi on January 26 in protest against the farm laws.

'They aggressively resorted to rioting, damage to government property and used criminal force to deter public servants from discharge of their duty, thereby inflicting injuries to the on-duty police personnel,' Reddy said.

'The Delhi Police has informed that Gazipur, Chilla, Tikri and Singhu borders of the national capital are blocked by agitating farmers and it is inconvenient to the residents of Delhi and neighbouring states. In any agitation, there is financial loss incurred by people and governments,” he said in a written reply to a question.

Reddy added that social distancing was not followed by the farmers and protesters, and they gathered in large numbers without face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

'The farmers' actions left the Delhi Police with no option but to use tear gas, water cannons and mild force to control the crowd,' he said.

The minister denied that the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate issued summons against 40 people related with voluntary agencies, groups and individuals who are providing humanitarian support to farmers agitation.

However, he said, with a view to address the apprehensions of the farmers and resolving the issues raised by them, the government has held 11 rounds of meetings with the leaders of the farmer unions leading the agitation. PTI ACB HMB