As thousands of farmers from Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and other unions are coming to Delhi for the Kisan Mahapanchayat at Jantar Mantar Monday, the police said many of the borders of the national capital, such as Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, are heavily congested and advised commuters to either go back or take alternative routes.
Police sources said that more than 5,000 farmers will come from Punjab, Haryana and other states to take part in the protest demanding minimum support price (MSP) among other things.
“The Karnal bypass, Narela border, Palam flyover and Aurbindo Marg are congested and the waiting time is up to an hour. Many vehicles are coming from the border. We have deployed extra force to keep a check and control the traffic,” said a police officer.
NH-24, Meerut Expressway, Eastern Periphery road, Munirka road, NH-44 and Ghaziabad-Wazirabad road, among other arterial roads, are also packed with vehicles, according to officials.
An officer in the Outer district said: “We are trying to control the traffic with the help of local police staff. Diversions have been created at Karnal and NH-44 to help commuters.”
In New Delhi, the police released an advisory saying Tolstoy Marg, Sansad Marg, Janpath, Ashoka Road and Pandit Pant Marg would be congested.
“More than 25 roads at present are congested. There is also heavy deployment of armed forces at Singhu, Tikri and other borders. This will go on till late afternoon,” said an officer.
On Sunday, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait alleged that the Delhi Police arrested him while he was on his way to the national capital. Meanwhile, the police said that Tikait was detained and later released as per the security arrangements in New Delhi. He was asked to return and “escorted back”.
The farmers are demanding a law guaranteeing MSP on their crops and the removal of Ajay Kumar Mishra as a Union minister. Mishra’s son Ashish was arrested in a case where eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri in October last year.
The protesters are also demanding the release of a group of farmers who were arrested by the police last year in connection with farmers’ agitation.