The Delhi Police too had urged people not to hold gatherings due to the COVID-19 situation and the ongoing lockdown.

However, Mehma said that the government shouldn’t have introduced the three laws during the pandemic in the first place.

“If the government wants us to go back then it should listen to us and repeal the laws, because we are not going anywhere unless our demands are met.

“It is not our hobby to sit in the heat and the cold at the borders. We also want to go back home and be safe,” the farmer leader told PTI.

Police force has been in place at all the borders points, including the protest sites of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, since Tuesday.

At Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, hundreds of farmers, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, converged into groups as they burnt an effigy of the Centre in protest.

A ruckus briefly ensued between protestors and the local police, donning anti-riot gears, who had tried to stop them from burning the effigy at the UP Gate below the Delhi-Meerut Expressway.

While many BKU supporters held black flags in their hands, several others had placards that condemned the government and demanded withdrawal of the contentious laws, even as COVID-19 protocols on social distancing and face masks were largely amiss at the site.

Tikait, who has been leading the protest at Ghazipur since November 2020 and had become a prominent face of the protest after the January 26 violence in Delhi, was seen sporting a black-colour turban and a black flag.

The influential BKU spokesperson from western Uttar Pradesh was credited with reviving the protest that had lost sheen after the January 26 violence with his emotional pull that overnight drew support for the farmers on Delhi’s outskirts.

Thousands of protesting farmers reached Delhi borders on November 26 last year to protest against the Centre’s three new farm laws.

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