Farmers protesting agri laws to start stir at Jantar Mantar from today, Security beefed up

Farmers protesting the three contentious farm laws will start holding a stir at Jantar Mantar from Thursday

Farmers protesting agri laws to start stir at Jantar Mantar from today, Security beefed up
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PTI

Farmers protesting the three contentious farm laws will start holding a stir at Jantar Mantar from Thursday under heavy security with Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal giving special permission for demonstrations by a maximum of 200 peasants till August 9.

A group of 200 farmers will travel to Jantar Mantar from the Singhu border in buses with a police escort and hold protests there from 11 am to 5 pm, sources in the Delhi Police said.

They said the Samkyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers' union which has been spearheading the protest against the farm laws, has been asked to give an undertaking that all Covid norms would be followed and the stir would be peaceful.

Although the SKM said that their protest at the Jantar Mantar will continue till the end if the Monsoon Session of Parliament on August 13, the L-G has given permission for protest till August 9.

This is the first time since the violence in the national capital during a tractor rally on January 26 that the authorities have granted permission to protesting farmer unions to hold a protest in the city.

According to an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is also DDMA's chairperson, has given approval for a staggered protest at Jantar Mantar by a maximum of 200 farmers every day from Thursday to August 9 between 11 am to 5 pm.

"They would be conveyed by designated buses and six members of one separate group by a designated SUV on a given route under police escort subject to strict observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour (wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, regular hand washing and use of sanitiser etc.) and compliance of all other guidelines/ instructions/SOPs issued by Government of India and Government of NCT of Delhi from time to time in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic," the order said.

Adequate security arrangements will be made at the Jantar Mantar, sources said.

Gathering for protests is currently not allowed in the national capital, under a DDMA order.

The Delhi police, in a statement, said after multiple rounds of negotiations with SKM and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, on being assured in writing that they would maintain peace and with the approval of DDMA they have been allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar with limited numbers not exceeding 200 people for SKM and six for KMSC from 11 am up to 5 pm daily.

"They would be escorted to the designated location from Singhu border in buses. They have been advised to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour and social distancing," the statement said.

The farmer unions have also been advised not to take out any march in view of Covid restrictions. The Delhi Police has put in place extensive arrangements to ensure that the protest programme remains peaceful, it added.

Thousands of farmers from across the country have been agitating at three Delhi border points -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur -- against the three farm laws that they claim will do away with the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

Over 10 rounds of talks with the government, which has been projecting the laws at major agricultural reforms, have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.

The SKM had initially proposed that the protesting farmers will hold a 'Kisan Parliament' at Jantar Mantar every day, a few metres from Parliament.

After a meeting with Delhi Police officials on Tuesday, a farm union leader said they will hold peaceful demonstrations at Jantar Mantar demanding scrapping of the agri laws and no protester will go to Parliament.

"We will hold 'Kisan Parliament' from July 22 till the monsoon session ends and 200 protesters will go to Jantar Mantar every day. One speaker and one deputy speaker will be chosen every day.

"In the first two days, there will be a discussion over the APMC Act. Later, the other bills will also be discussed every two days," a leader had said.

Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh national president Shiv Kumar Kakka on Tuesday told PTI that farmers, wearing identification badges, will go to Jantar Mantar from the Singhu border to hold the protest.

"We informed the police that every day 200 farmers will go to Jantar Mantar from the Singhu border in buses during the monsoon session. It will be a peaceful demonstration and protesters will have identification badges.

"When police asked us to reduce the number of protesters, we told them to focus on the law-and-order situation and also gave assurance that the protest will be peaceful," Kakka had said.

A tractor parade in Delhi on January 26, that was to highlight the demands of farmer unions to repeal three agriculture laws, had dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital as thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with the police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

Security beefed up at Jantar Mantar in view of farmer protest

Security at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi has been tightened in view of a protest by farmers against the Centre's agri laws on Thursday amid the Monsoon session of Parliament, officials said.

Adequate security arrangements have been made and police and paramilitary personnel deployed, they said.

Jantar Mantar is a few metres away from the Parliament House where the Monsoon session is underway.

A group of 200 farmers will travel to Jantar Mantar from their Singhu border demonstration site in buses with a police escort and hold protest there from 11 am to 5 pm.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions which has been spearheading the protest against the three farm laws, has been asked to give an undertaking that all COVID-19 norms would be followed and the stir would be peaceful.

This is the first time since the violence in the national capital during a tractor rally on January 26 that the authorities have granted permission to the protesting farmer unions to hold a demonstration in the city.

Thousands of farmers from across the country have been agitating at three Delhi border points -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur -- against the three farm laws that they claim will do away with the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

Over 10 rounds of talks with the government, which has been projecting the laws at major agricultural reforms, have failed to break the deadlock between the two sides.

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Published: 22 Jul 2021, 8:15 AM