Police proposes route map for tractor rally, farmers to respond today
New Delhi: The Delhi police on Friday proposed a route map to the farmers where they could hold a tractor rally on January 26. Police officers did not share details of the proposed route but earlier the farmers had been told to take out the rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway on the periphery of the capital.
The farmer groups confirmed they had received a proposal from the police but said they would respond only after holding a meeting on Saturday. They had planned the rally on the Outer Ring Road and had assured the police that it will be completely peaceful and that the protesters will not try to reach other areas in the city.
Until Friday night, it was not clear if the police had proposed a route inside the national Capital or on the highways connecting Delhi.
Senior police officers are holding talks with the farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws over their planned tractor rally. Talks are being held daily since January 18. Police officers have maintained that no official permission has yet been given to the protesters for the rally since it could create a law and order problem on the Republic Day and trigger traffic chaos.
Darshan Pal of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, who is also the president of the Krantikari Kisaan Union, Punjab, said the officers have proposed a “road map” to the farm leaders. “We will give our reply to their proposal after holding a meeting of the farm unions tomorrow,” Pal said.
On talks with the government, the farmer leader said, “The deadlock continued as the government came with the proposal to suspend these laws for 18 months, while the farmers demanded the repeal of the laws,” he said.
A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, said they are waiting for the farmer’s response and the future course of action would be decided accordingly.
Meanwhile after the 11th round of meeting between the farmers and the government, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said that the government has told them that it will stick to its initial proposal. “They said if the farmers agree to it there can be further talks between the government and the farmers. We have told them that we will respond to the offer made,” he said outside Vigyan Bhawan.
The farmers said that the date of next meeting with the government has not been decided yet.
At the Singhu, Tikri and other borders where the farmers are camping, protests remained peaceful throughout the day even as police maintained adequate deployment. The farmers at Singhu border spent the day mostly marching, shouting slogans against the farm laws, delivering speeches from the stage, and cooking and distributing food at langars.
In the afternoon, however, there was some ruckus near Vigyan Bhawan when a group of farmers heading to the meeting venue in a car alleged that they were stopped by the police and the rear windshield of their car was broken by policemen.
Police officials said that every vehicle carrying farmers, coming to Vigyan Bhawan from Singhu Border, is escorted the police.
Senior officials said they did not have any information about the vehicle joining the police escort and it was therefore stopped before Vigyan Bhawan. “On this, the farmers in the car got agitated and themselves damaged the car using a baton. There was no police action in this incident,” a senior officer said, who wished not to be named.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (outer north) Ghanshyam Bansal said situation at Singhu Border on Friday remained peaceful as farmers continued their agitation. “We had sufficient deployment in place and the situation is being continuously monitored,” he said.