Why agitating farmers are refusing to hold protest at Delhi's Burari ground

The Union government asked the farmers to shift all agitation to Burari ground and lift the blockade at Delhi's three interstate border points.
Farmers' protest at Delhi border
Farmers' protest at Delhi border
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The farmers protesting against the three controversial farm laws have decided to stay put at the three Delhi borders as they refuse to shift their agitation to the Burari ground. On Sunday, they rejected the Union government's proposal to shift all agitation to Delhi's Burari ground and lift the blockade at the borders. They said the government's offer to hold talks is conditional and that they will not move to the Burari.

The farmers had been instructed to stay put wherever they were till further instructions from their leaders. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said they have also decided to stay at Ghazipur. "We will not leave this spot. We will not move to Burari. The Union government should come forward and listen to the farmers," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that he was committed to the welfare of hardworking farmers, and the Centres' new farm laws were a step in this direction.

Refusing to accept the Union government's offer to shift to the Burari ground in north-west Delhi to hold their proposed protest against the three farm laws, thousands of farmers continued to rally for the third consecutive day on Sunday at Delhi's three interstate border points.

As the farmers continued to protest peacefully by shouting slogans against the government at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur entry/exit points on the Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Bahadurgarh and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh routes respectively, their numbers were swelling as more and more farmers were arriving at the spots.

The farmers were adamant on their demand that the Union government revoke the three farm laws to end the impasse, though they were not clear about their next course of action as leaders of multiple farmers' unions were holding meetings since Sunday morning to decide on their future strategy.

Farmer Satbir Singh, a resident of Fatehgarh Sahib district in Punjab, asserted at the protest site that it was the "biggest revolution against the three farm laws enacted by the Central government".

"Even the Punjabi diaspora in the US and Canada have come in support of the farmers' protest. We will not move back an inch until and unless they repeal the laws. We will not go back until these draconian laws are done away with," Satbir said. He asserted that a general consensus among the protesting farmers was to refuse the Union Home Minister's offer to shift to the Burari ground before the government holds parleys with them. "We will not move from the Singhu and Kondli borders. The supply chain has been disrupted and the pressure is mounting on the government."

Writing for IANS, Zafar Abbas also said that the location of Burari ground, which is also called Nirankari Maidan, has prevented it from offering itself as a protst site over the years. Those fighting for a cause feel that Jantar Mantar and Ramlila ground are better options if their voices are to be heard by the powers that be. Way back in 2011, Delhi Police had offered the Burari ground, situated on the Delhi outskirts as we move towards Mukarba Chowk, as a protest site to social activist Anna Hazare for his proposed hunger strike. But it did not happen. Anna later organised his sit-in at the Ramlila ground that lasted 12 days and witnessed swarms of supporters who rallied around for his cause.

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