Six BJP Workers Sustain Injuries, Two Dozen Cars Of Party Cavalcade Damaged At Ghazipur Farmer Protest Site
Yesterday (30 June), clashes occurred between the farmer protesters at the Ghazipur border site and BJP workers.
In the clashes, at least six BJP workers sustained minor injuries and around two dozen cars that were part of the party cavalcade damaged. Both sides blamed the other for the violence.
BJP Keshavpuram district president Sanjeev Sharma said that he along with 300 party workers was waiting on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway to welcome the newly appointed general secretary of BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit Amit Valmiki, who was travelling from Delhi to Bulandshahr.
“Suddenly, around 30-40 members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union jumped the dividers and started showing black flags. We didn’t mind black flags but when they started damaging our vehicles, we asked the police to intervene,” Sharma was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
The BKU workers were donning their green caps and there were some Sikhs too, among those who attacked the vehicles with sticks and swords, he alleged. They also reportedly engaged in stonepelting.
“It was a planned protest as they had come prepared with black flags on sticks and swords,” Sharma said.
He further informed that the party convoy consisted of many members of the SC-ST Morcha at the spot to welcome their leader [Amit Valmiki], who lodged a complaint with the police.
On the other hand, farmer groups have claimed that BJP workers were "trying to provoke the farmers" by beating drums and raising slogans against the ongoing farmers’ movement. They said that the BJP workers themselves damaged their vehicles.
"When some BJP workers tried to climb on our stage, farmers pushed them back.. If they want to come on our platform, they should leave the BJP first” said BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.
“Those who were part of the welcoming party themselves damaged their vehicles and put the blame on farmers,” Samyukta Kisan Morcha spokesperson Jagtar Singh Bajwa alleged. He described it as an attempt to discredit the farmer protests.
BJP leader Amit Valmiki told the reporters that the it is a standard practice to welcome someone with drums and songs. He said that the farm law protesters, showing them black flags, had at one point left, but came back as soon as his car arrived and started vandalising the cavalcade vehicles. They were also brandishing weapons including swords.
Valmiki said that the attacks was pre-planned by Rakesh Tikait, and the protesters had disrespected the Dalit community.
As the situation took a violent turn, the police had to intervene, and the cavalcade was moved.
"The claim of the farmer groups that BJP workers were trying to climb on their stage seems far-fetched as two lanes of Expressway separated them,” Anshu Jain, Circle Officer, Ghaziabad, said.
Later, the BJP workers held a protest near the office of the local police chief, demanding that immediate action be taken against the farmers, who have been blocking the highway since November last year.
After the incident, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that “due to a few unfortunate incidents, the word ‘kisaan’ has become tarnished”.
“The word ‘kisaan’ is pure and everyone holds them in high regard. Due to a few unfortunate incidents the word has become tarnished. Dignity of sisters and daughters has been taken away, murders are happening, roads being blocked. I condemn the incidents that are undemocratic. When they crossed their limits we had to ask them to give it in writing that their protest would be non-violent. If violence takes place then FIRs will be registered and they too will receive court notices,” Khattar said.
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