No permission for farmers march, prepared to tackle crowd and traffic: Delhi Police
The Delhi Police have not granted permission to farmers to march from Ramlila Ground to the Parliament House on Friday, but have still geared up to handle the crowd and manage traffic disruptions if the protesters decide to go ahead anyway.
While traffic diversions will be imposed depending on the situation on the roads, the police said that many central Delhi roads are expected to witness jams from 9am onwards on Friday. “Commuters are advised to keep out of these regions until at least 6pm, when the farmers are expected to disperse,” said a senior traffic police officer.
If allowed to march from Ramlila Ground to Jantar Mantar, the farmers will pass through Guru Nanak Chowk, Ranjit Singh Flyover and Tolstoy Marg, said the traffic police. But they will not be allowed to get near the Parliament House, police added.
According to an advisory issued by the traffic police, the other roads that are likely to be affected will be stretches around Ramlila Ground, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Deshbandhu Gupta Road, Rani Jhansi Road, Mandir Marg, Panchkuian Road, Barakhamba Road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Janpath, Ashoka Road, Ferozshah Road, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Jai Singh Road and the inner and outer circles of Connaught Place.
“Traffic diversions will be imposed depending on the situation on the roads. Commuters are advised to follow the traffic police’s social media accounts for live updates to avoid getting stuck in jams,” said Alok Kumar, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
Deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma, meanwhile, said that all efforts will be made to keep the farmers’ agitation limited to Ramlila Ground. “We have held a number of meetings with the farmers already and have stood firm on not granting permission. In any case, we are prepared to handle the crowd and the traffic situation,” said Verma.
Other police officers said that a final decision for permissions will depend on the situation on the ground. “We estimate around 15,000 farmers to be present at the march Friday. We have managed crowds this large in the past and we don’t expect much trouble,” said a senior officer.
While the police repeatedly pointed to the standing order on Supreme Court guidelines that doesn’t allow a gathering of more than 1,000 protesters at Jantar Mantar, senior officers said they wouldn’t restrict the figure in case the farmers are adamant on taking out their march.
The security arrangements include nearly 3,700 Delhi Police personnel at the protest locations and along the routes as well as many companies of paramilitary forces. The police will also keep special reserves on standby at nearby police stations.
On Thursday, as farmers began moving towards Ramlila Ground in small groups, jams were witnessed at several places across the city beginning 10am and continuing till 6pm.