The ‘Bharat Bandh’ on the call of farmers’ organisations agitating against the farm bills passed by peacefully in the nine districts of Meerut zone on Tuesday and no untoward incident was reported. Though the police house arrested a few political leaders including Bheem Army Chief Chandrashekhar in Saharanpur.
All districts of the Meerut region, viz Hapur, Bulandshahr, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Baghpat, Muzzaffar Nagar, Shamli, Saharanpur and Meerut were divided into zones and sectors for monitoring by respective district administration and police. Meerut district was divided in nine zones and thirty-one sectors and each zone was kept under the vigil of a magistrate and police force in order to maintain law and order.
ADG of Meerut Zone Rajeev Sabharwal said, “Farmers were allowed to protest peacefully but those trying to take political mileage out of it were prevented from doing so. He informed that in each of the nine districts of the zone at least two to three persons were put under house arrest. About 80 persons were also taken into custody at different places.
“The police was well prepared in advance and heavy deployment of force was made at different prominent locations in the zone and also on the highways.”
Leaders of different political parties which had supported the Bandh, like Congress, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal were arrested from across the districts of zones when they tried to protest and block roads. Many prominent leaders were also put under house arrest. Bheem Army Chief Chandrashekhar and Congress city president were prominent amongst those put under house arrest.
Most of the senior leaders of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, BKU (Bhanu) and other farmer organizations participated in the protest at Ghazipur border near Delhi. The leaders had appealed to farmers to block highways near their villages only. The farmers were instructed by BKU President Naresh Tikait to allow ambulances, barats (wedding parties) and people in an emergency.
All important highways were blocked by the farmers under the aegis of BKU, BKU(Tomar), BKU (Bhanu ) and other farmers organisations. Delhi- Pauri, Delhi- Hardwar, Delhi- Saharanpur, Meerut- Karnal, Meerut- Garh, Panipat-Khatima highways were all blocked until late afternoon.
A delegation of transporters led by Gaurav Sharma, president of Meerut Transporters Association, participated in farmers protest at Singhu Border in Delhi. Since the transport association had extended its support to the farmers’ agitation and bandh, transport vehicles were not seen on the roads.
Meerut regional office of roadways that operates 767 buses on different routes every day and officials said the bandh affected the plying of over 400 buses and the passengers were stranded at different locations.