Police urge farmers to shift tractor rally to KMP e-way
New Delhi: Police officers from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana met farmers at Singhu border on Tuesday, urging them to either cancel the proposed tractor rally on the Republic Day or organised it on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway. The farmers, however, turned down the proposal but assured the police that it would be a peaceful protest and stay confined to only the outer Ring Road in Delhi.
While special commissioner (intelligence) Deependra Pathak led the police team from Delhi, seven leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, including Balbir Singh Rajewal and Darshan Pal, represented the farmers.Since no consensus could be reached on issue, another meeting has been scheduled on Wednesday morning, a senior Delhi Police officer who was present in the meeting said, requesting anonymity.
“We told the farmers representatives that the tractor rally may lead to law and order issues and traffic and security chaos and asked them to cancel it. Since they refused, we suggested that the rally could be shifted to the KMP expressway. They remained adamant on taking out their rally for 50-60 kilometres on Delhi’s outer ring road,” the officer said.
This was the second meeting between the police and leaders of farmer unions since Monday, when the Supreme Court refused to pass any order on the Delhi Police’s plea for stopping the tractor rally. On a plea by Delhi Police, the top court had said that entry of farmers into Delhi is a law and order problem and any decision in this regard should be taken by the Delhi Police.
Tuesday’s meeting was held at a farmhouse in Delhi, nearly a kilometre away from the Singhu border where thousands of farmers have been agitating against the three contentious farm laws. The farmers’ agitation entered 55th day on Tuesday.
“The farmer leaders in fact asked the police officers if they would be granting permission for their Kisan Tractor Parade on Delhi’s Outer Ring Road about which the officers said that they were not the deciding authority. The officers showed their concerns regarding law and order, traffic, and security issues that our tractor rally may cause. However, they were assured that our rally will be peaceful and it will not disrupt the official Republic Day parade,” said Harpreet Singh Kahlon, convener of Krantikari Kisan Union.
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.
“Our parade will be similar to that of the national parade where tableaux of different states are shown. The farmers of different states would be showcasing their traditional style of farming and agricultural tools they use in agriculture. All tractors will have the national flag and our rally will start after the parade on Rajpath is concluded,” said Parmeet Singh, a farmer from Amritsar.