The Uttar Pradesh government has said that it is trying to convince farmers about the illegality, in light of a Supreme Court order from April, of blocking roads as part of their ongoing protest against three farm laws brought in by the Centre last year.
In an affidavit filed in connection with a public interest litigation filed in the court by a resident of Noida seeking removal of road-blocks created by protesters, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government has said that efforts were underway to “make farmers understand” the “grossly illegal act of blocking roads”.
“Most of the protesters are aged and old farmers,” the affidavit has said. “Diversions have been created to allow for smooth movement of traffic between Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi via the Maharajpur and Hindon roads as NH 24 was still blocked.”
A hearing on the PIL by Monica Agarwal is scheduled to take place tomorrow before a bench of Justices SK Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy. The plea says “it has become a nightmare” to travel to Delhi from Noida which takes two hours instead of the usual 20 minutes.
In an April 9 hearing related to the case, the Supreme Court had said that public roads should not be blocked, come what may.
Without directly referring to the farmers’ agitation, the court said, “We are not going into the larger issue but are referring to a limited issue. The larger issue can be solved judiciously, administratively, and politically. We have been repeatedly saying that the public roads should not be blocked.”
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping around three border points of Delhi — Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur – since last November, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year.