New Delhi, 8th February 2024: In a demonstration organized by three farmer organizations, protesters occupied the Noida Greater-Noida Expressway and Link Road for eight hours on Thursday to emphasize their demands. The move prompted the closure of all borders connecting Noida and Delhi, with barricades erected overnight to prevent farmers from reaching the capital.
Efforts by the police administration to engage in dialogue were made three times, spanning from Mahamaya flyover to Sector-18 flyover. However, the farmers faced barricades approximately three kilometers before the Chilla border, encountering significant resistance in their attempts to proceed. The closure of the Noida Delhi Link Road at 10:30 am led to heavy traffic jams for vehicles heading towards Delhi from Noida Greater Noida Expressway, DND, and Kalindi Kunj.
In a positive development late in the evening at around 6:30 pm, the Police Commissioner’s assurance of forming a high-level committee and initiating talks with relevant authorities and state government ministers within a week led to the farmers vacating the road. Despite this, they have announced their intent to continue their protest at Noida Authority and NTPC Sector-24.
Farmers faced obstacles throughout the day. Those coming from Greater Noida were halted at 10 am, and farmers from Badlarpur village were detained and relocated to Ambedkar Park. Protesters at NTPC were barricaded around 12:30 pm, and subsequent attempts to move forward were unsuccessful. Tractor trolleys from Greater Noida and Noida reached the expressway around 1:30 pm, facing barricades near Sector-94 cut.
After a half-hour discussion with the police administration, the farmers proceeded on foot, reaching the Sector-18 flyover by 2:30 pm. Despite five levels of barricading, the farmers engaged in talks and eventually moved ahead. However, they were met with resistance, with some women attempting to break barricades unsuccessfully.
The assurance of a high-level committee, including prominent figures, was announced by the Farmers Organization President after discussions with the Police Commissioner. This committee will address various concerns, including compensation for farmers since 1997, land distribution, and issues related to NTPC.
Farmers who attempted to march to Delhi were reportedly put under house arrest in Greater Noida, with around 200 detained, including those on tractor-trolleys and on foot. Demands from the farmers include compensation for those affected by NTPC, job opportunities for children, land distribution, and the establishment of essential facilities such as hospitals and educational institutions.
As the situation unfolds, authorities and farmers continue to navigate the complexities of addressing the long-standing grievances raised by the agricultural community.