We will not shift the venue of the Republic Day tractor rally, farmers to police
New Delhi: Farmers protesting at Delhi borders on Wednesday reiterated that they will take out a “peaceful” tractor rally on the Outer Ring Road on Republic Day and urged the police not to force them to shift it anywhere else. The Delhi police had urged the farmers to either cancel the rally or shift it to the Kundali-Manesar-Palwal expressway on the periphery of the Capital.
With this the second round of talks between the police and the farmers remained inconclusive on Wednesday.
The leaders of several farmer unions have announced to conduct a tractor rally on the Outer Ring Road as a part of their ongoing protest against the three new farm laws. Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary of Jamhuri Kisan Sabha in Punjab, said, “The police again asked the farmer unions to shift the proposed tractor march to Western Peripheral Expressway or Kundli–Manesar–Palwal (KMP) Expressway. But farmers have made it clear that the march will be conducted only on the Outer Ring Road.”
“We have assured the police that the march will remain peaceful. We are not going to disrupt peace in the city. We are not marching to the India Gate or the Red Fort. Police should allow us to conduct our peaceful march,” he added.
A senior police officer, who was part of the discussion, said, “The talks with farmers are still on. We are yet to reach any consensus.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the farmers also shared the route map of their proposed tractor rally and said that the parade will touch all the borders connecting Delhi with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh would be participating in the tractor rally, they said.
Another farmer leader and president of Krantikari Kisan Union, Darshan Pal, said another round of talks with the police will be held on Thursday. “The police have apprehensions that the rally can be infiltrated by some anti-social elements. But we have assured that the protest will remain peaceful. We have been protesting for around two months and no incident of violence has been reported from Delhi borders. We have told police that the crowd might get provoked, if they are not allowed to carry out the march,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said it would be “highly irregular and improper” for it to either stop or allow the protesting farmer unions to hold a Republic Day tractor rally in the Capital, forcing the Central government to withdraw its plea to injunct the farmers.
The protesters said when the apex court had not stopped them, the police should also not interfere. “Why is the police worried about the safety and security of the farmers only during the tractor march? They are not even bothered to see hundreds of farmers dying every day during the protest. Hundreds of farmers are travelling to Delhi to participate in this rally. Things might get out of control if police interferes,” said Amandeep Sindhu, a farmer protesting at the Singhu border.