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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 21 January 2021 12.59 AM IST

Amit Shah contacts protesting farmers on phone, talks likely to be held before December 3

amit-shah

NEW DELHI: Thousands of farmers continued their stir against the new farm laws at the Delhi-Haryana border for the fifth day. The number of those protesting at the Ghazipur border swelled, leading police to place concrete barriers and enhancing security at the border point connecting with Uttar Pradesh. Security was stepped up after farmers threatened to block more highways connecting the national capital. Meanwhile, home minister Amit Shah contacted leaders of the farmer’s organisations via phone. Sources hint at possibilities for talks before December 3.

In another related development, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar met Home Minister Amit Shah for the second time in less than 24 hours after farmers protesting at Delhi borders.

Farmers have threatened to block five highways connecting Delhi to Gurugram, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad. Till Sunday, only Singhu border and Tikri border were blocked by the farmers. The three entry points where security has been beefed up are Jaipur-Delhi highway that connects Gurugram to Delhi; Hapur-Delhi highway that connects Delhi with Ghaziabad; and Mathura-Delhi highway that connects Faridabad to Delhi.

Farmers began their march from Punjab on Thursday. They reached the Delhi borders via Haryana on Friday. Although the police allowed them to demonstrate at the Burari ground, they are camping at the Singhu (Delhi-Haryana) and Tikri borders for the past three days.

Rejecting the Centre's offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, the farmers protesting at all Delhi border points said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and have called a meeting to discuss their next course of action later in the day. Farmers are asking for Ramlila Maidan which is located in the heart of the national capital. It can accommodate over a lakh people, but police fear that the number could rise.

Meanwhile, Delhi Traffic Police said that the Tikri, Singhu borders are closed for any traffic movement on Monday.

"Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternate route. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from signature bridge to Rohini & vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 & Singhu borders," it tweeted. In another tweet, it said, "Tikri border is closed for any Traffic Movement. Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala Jhatikera, Badusari, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders."

Earlier on Sunday evening, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar held deliberations over the farmers' protest with BJP president JP Nadda. The farmers are protesting against the government’s three farm laws.

Shah has already appealed to the protesting farmers to shift to the Burari ground to stage their protests and said the Centre was ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.

Tomar had also last week said that the Centre was ready to hold talks with farmers anytime, and appealed to them to call off their agitation and come for discussion. After the farm reform bills were passed in monsoon session of parliament, Singh on behalf of the government held deliberations with various stake holders of the farm sector.

Farmer leader Surjeet Singh Phul on Sunday explained why they have rejected the Burari ground offer. He said that the Burari ground is an open jail and "we will never accept to assemble there". "We refuse to go to Burari. We have enough ration to survive for at least four months,” he said.

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TAGS: AMIT SHAH, PROTESTING FARMERS, NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR, UNION HOME MINISTER, MATHURA-DELHI HIGHWAY, HARYANA, BURARI GROUNDS, RAMLILA MAIDAN, RAJNATH SINGH, DEFENCE MINISTER, SURJEET SINGH PHUL
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