Dealing with protesting farmers tightrope walk : Haryana DGP
Haryana Police chief Manoj Yadava has said that police have been managing the farmers’ protest through dialogue, better intelligence, preventive steps, and keeping an element of surprise in the movement of VIPs. Excerpts from an interview:
How well is the state police force prepared to deal with the farmers’ protest?
There is a strong presence of the police force on the ground. We have been on the job for almost two months now and have been able to maintain the situation with continuous dialogue. The march on KMP Expressway went off smoothly. So far, the situation has been managed through a combination of firmness and continuous dialogue. While respecting the farmers’ right to protest, we have made efforts aimed at confidence building measures. We are ready for a long haul.
Are you seeking more central forces from the MHA keeping in view the escalation in number of protesters and vehicles?
More central forces are on the way. In fact, 10 more companies of the central paramilitary forces (CPMF) arrived on Monday. These are in addition to 35 companies of CPMFs we already got (each company has 85 personnel). The more the protest intensified, the more boots on the ground we got.
The police advisory cautioned on vehicular movement for three days on Delhi-bound national highways and expressways? Are there any measures in place to deal with the travel plans for case of medical emergency?
There are multiple routes to reach Delhi. One can travel through Uttar Pradesh or go via Rohtak and Jhajjar to Gurugram. Though these will be longer routes and will consume more time. We have advised against movement on the KMP e-way as it will get clogged due to the return traffic of tractors once they finish the loop approved by the Delhi Police.
Ruling party politicians have blamed the police for not controlling the mob during the Kaimla kisan mahapanchayat in Karnal? How is the police supposed to control agitating crowds without using force?
It is a difficult situation. The government has given clear directions to the police to act in a restrained manner. It’s a tightrope walk for Haryana police. We are managing the situation through dialogue, better intelligence, preventive steps, and keeping an element of surprise in the movement of the VIPs. For over two months of agitation, we have tried to engage with the farmer leaders. The Kaimla episode was not a happy one for us. The only positive was that no one was injured or killed. We are trying to do our best.