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UP: Farmers booked for protest on NH

Meerut: A criminal case has been registered against farmer leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) for disrupting toll collection on national highways in Uttar Pradesh, police said on Thursday.

The case was registered at Daurala against the farmer leaders on a complaint from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).Those booked included Naresh Tikait, Rakesh Tikait, Elam Singh Tikait and 200 other farmers who had disrupted toll collection at Sivayan in Meerut on National Highway-58.

The farmers also threatened to capture the toll plazas at two other points in Firozabad and Moradabad. On Wednesday they took over the Gorakhpur toll plaza and opened it for free to all vehicles.

They are already holding protest on the Dasna toll plaza for the fourth consecutive day. The union also holds the Shahjahanpur toll plaza. The BKU has also advanced the date of mahapanchayat meeting, which was initially set for December 18. It would now be held at Meerut on December 8 at the Sivayan toll plaza.

The farmers want free movement across the toll plazas in Uttar Pradesh. In a letter to the NHAI, the BKU demanded that since most toll roads were built on land acquired from them, they should be made toll-free. The farmers have been protesting against the toll tax on the Yamuna Expressway for more than a month.BKU Meerut division President Rajvir Singh said toll collection on highways involved corruption bigger than that was seen in the 2G Spectrum scandal.

Meerut Divisional Commissioner Mrityunjay Kumar Narayan said a meeting was being organised to end the stalemate over the issue. The government is playing a role of facilitator between farmers and NHAI officials.

(Agencies)

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