Shortly after farmer union’s interaction with the Delhi Police on Sunday, Bhartiya Kisan Morcha (R) leader Balbir Singh Rajewal announced that the original Parliament ‘gherao’ plan will no longer be put into action. The statement was given after the Delhi Police denied permission for the protest. While speaking to ANI, Rajewal said that farmer unions had met the Delhi Police today at the Mantram resort near the Singhu border and sought permission for a ‘kisan sansad’ in Jantar Mantar, where about 200 protesters will gather.
BKU Leader Rakesh Tikait had on Tuesday said in a statement that the farmers will sit outside the Parliament in groups of 200 every day until the monsoon session ends, to protest against Centre’s three farm laws. “Farmers’ protest will continue. We will go to Delhi on July 22 and sit outside the Parliament. 200 people will go every day,” Tikait had told reporters.
“We have shared our program with the Delhi Police. From July 22, 200 farmers will reach Jantar Mantar by bus and hold a Kisan sansad. There has never been talk of any type of gherao to the Parliament,” the farmer leader said. “Farmers who will go to Jantar Mantar will be given ID cards from the Kisan United Front. Anyone who does not have an ID card will not be allowed to participate,” he added.
Farmer unions are planning to protest from July 22 till the end of the Parliament’s monsoon session to demand the scrapping of the contentious farm laws and a legal guarantee on MSP. According to police sources, Delhi Police officials suggested that farmers consider alternative venues in the national capital for the protest.
Another farmer leader from Madhya Pradesh Shivkumar Kakka said, “We told the Delhi Police that 200 people will march to Parliament from Singhu border every day. Each person will have an identification badge. We’ll hand over a list of protesters to the government.”
“The police asked us to reduce the number of protestors, which we declined. If they don’t give permission we will go by force,” he added.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait had on Wednesday said that the protest would be ‘peaceful.’ However, the country witnessed violence on Republic Day when protestors reached Red Fort as a part of their ‘tractor rally’ protest.
Earlier, on January 26, protesters had broken barricades to enter New Delhi and clashed with police in several parts of the national capital during the ‘tractor rally’ protest organised by farmers.
The protestors had also entered the iconic Mughal era monument Red Fort and unfurled their flags from its ramparts. The Delhi Police has written to the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation to keep extra vigil at seven metro stations and close them if needed, in view of farmers’ protest near Parliament tomorrow.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: 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. Farmer leaders and the Centre have held several rounds of talks but the impasse remains.
(With ANI Inputs)