Farmers may meet police today over march to Parliament
Ahead of their proposed July 22 march to Parliament, farmer leaders are scheduled to meet Delhi police on Sunday to discuss the protest, said a member of the Samkyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) – an umbrella body of more than 40 farmer groups – which is spearheading the agitation against the three farm laws.
Earlier this month, SKM announced a peaceful march to Parliament on July 22, and said that they will stay there for the entire duration of the monsoon session. Parliament will convene for the monsoon session on July 19. “A nine-member delegation will meet Delhi police officials at around 12 noon tomorrow to discuss the proposed protest and how it can be conducted peacefully,” an SKM member said, asking not to be named.
Demonstrations near Parliament are not allowed.
According to SKM, from July 22 onwards, batches of 200 farmer volunteers and leaders will march towards the Parliament in a peaceful manner. The daily batches of protesters will comprise farmer leaders and volunteers drawn from various organisation across the protest camps at Delhi borders.
A special protest march has also been scheduled on July 26 and August 9 by women farmer leaders and volunteers.
This will be the second interaction between the farmers and the Delhi police after the two sides held a series of meetings ahead of the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26 on the occasion of Republic Day this year. The rally descended into chaos with the several groups of farmers straying from the pre-decided route and clashing with the police at several points in the Capital, including the Red Fort.
Thousands of farmers are protesting on Delhi borders since November last year against the three farm laws that seek to deregulate farm trade. The farmers want the three agricultural laws repealed, and say that the legislation will leave them at the mercy of large corporations. The government has said the laws will bring competition and widen farmers’ access to markets.