The Bharatiya Kisan Union's Bhanu faction on Wednesday announced it was withdrawing the protest against the new farm laws in the wake of the Republic Day violence, while the Lok Shakti group vowed to continue its demonstration.
With the BKU (Bhanu) withdrawing its protest, the Delhi-Noida Link Road via Chilla border reopened for traffic after 57 days, Noida Traffic Police officials said.
The group had been occupying one of the carriageways on the key route, leading to its partial closure, since it began the protest on December 1 last year.
Announcing the decision to end the protest, BKU (Bhanu) president Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh told reporters he was deeply pained by whatever happened during the tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.
Singh's son and Uttar Pradesh unit chief of BKU (Bhanu) Yogesh Pratap told PTI, "Our national president has announced that we are ending protest over the violence that took place in Delhi yesterday."
The tractor parade on Tuesday that was held to highlight farmer unions' demand for the repeal of the Centre's three agriculture laws descended into anarchy as protesters deviated from designated routes, attacked police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag on the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.
Several BKU (Bhanu) members have left the protest site to return home, while some are still present at the Chilla border along with the faction chief, who was talking to media persons this evening.
On the other hand, BKU (Lok Shakti) members, camping at some distance at Dalit Prerna Sthal here, decided to continue their protest.
"Whatever happened in Delhi should not have happened. We condemn it and are against any violence.
"We had a meeting today headed by BKU Lok Shakti president Sheoraj Singh in the wake of the events that have unfolded and decided that our protest would continue," BKU (Lok Shakti) Shailesh Kumar Giri told PTI.
By Wednesday night, BKU (Bhanu) members had cleared the Chilla border, clearing the route for commuters, a traffic police official told PTI.
Both carriageways on the route were briefly reopened on December 13 last year but by the end of the day one side (Noida to Delhi) was closed again, the official said.
According to sources, police officials also asked BKU (Lok Shakti) members to end their protest. However, they could not convince the group leaders.
Thousands of protesting farmers are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.