LUCKNOW: Farmers are agitated at the anti-agricultural policies of the BJP government, but instead of adopting a positive attitude towards their demands, it was using teargas shells, water cannons and batons on them, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday.
The remark comes as farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, head towards the national capital as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march to protest the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.
As thousands of protesters gathered at various entry points into the city, police used teargas shells, water cannons and multi-layer barriers to block them.
"The farmers are agitated due to anti-agriculture policies of the BJP government at the Centre. Instead of adopting a positive attitude towards their demands, it's inhuman that the BJP government is firing teargas shells, throwing cold water and lathi-charging them. This act is highly condemnable," Yadav, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, said in a statement issued here.
"Due to its act, the BJP has shown its insensitive and anti-people character," he said, adding that the new agri laws are anti-farmer and should be immediately withdrawn.
The BJP is resorting to "government terror" to crush the rights of farmers, Yadav claimed.
"Demonstrating peacefully in a non-violent way is the constitutional right of people in a democracy.
But instead of listening to the farmers, the BJP government is out to suppress them," he added.
Meanwhile, protesting farmers were allowed to enter the national capital on Friday afternoon to hold a peaceful demonstration at a north Delhi ground, defusing some of the tension building up since morning around the city's edges and beyond.
The concession came after hours of a standoff that saw the police using teargas shells and water cannons, and the farmers pelting stones and breaking barricades in some places in their determination to push through.