Farmers prep for Republic Day tractor rally; no clarity yet on police permission
Thousands of farmers from across the country are set to join those agitating at the borders of Delhi since November 26 last year to take part in the January 26 'kisan parade' on tractors in the national capital, farm union leaders have said. They will also deploy 2,500 volunteers to facilitate the movement of the vehicles. The number of volunteers can be increased, depending on the crowd, and a control room has been set up to look into the arrangements, they added.
However, there is still no clarity on whether the police have permitted them to hold the rally. Delhi Police said the protesting farmers have not given anything in writing regarding the route of the proposed tractor rally on January 26. "When the protesting farmers would give us in writing about the route of the proposed tractor rally on January 26, we will analyse it and make a decision," an official told news agency ANI.
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On Saturday, a police official familiar with the developments had said, “The approval was given in principle for now. The farmers will have to give a signed undertaking that they will not enter the New Delhi and central Delhi areas on Republic Day. The proposed routes will be in the vicinity of places where farmers are already protesting but within the national capital. They will also have to give an undertaking that the rally will not disrupt Republic Day arrangements. We will speak to them again tomorrow.”
In the undertaking, the farmers need to share details of the number of tractors, timing of their rally, number of protesters and their day’s plan, among other details. Police will then verify the undertaking and issue “written permission.”
However, farmers protesting at the national capital’s Tikri border on Sunday assured that they will hold peaceful tractor rallies on Republic Day to mark 'Kisan Gantantra Parade'. "We feel elated that the police gave us permission to hold tractor rallies on January 26. This will chance of a clash between both parties. There are around 2.5 lakh tractors at Tikri border," Tajinder Singh, a farmer at the Delhi-Haryana border, t.
Kirti Kisan Union president Nirbhai Singh Dhudike, who presided over a meeting of Punjab farmers' unions, told news agency PTI that more than one lakh tractors are expected to arrive from the state on Sunday.
The farmers protesting at Shahjahanpur in Rajasthan’s Alwar will display tableaus of different states during their tractor parade.“On January 26, there (in Delhi) jawans will hold a parade and here kisans will take out a tractor parade. We will display the tableau of around 14 states in the parade, around 2000 vehicles, including tractors will participate. At 8am the parade will start for Delhi from Shahjhanpur under Kissan Sanyukt Morcha banner,” Amra Ram, national vice president of All India Kisan Sabha, said.
Ram claimed that farmers from Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and Tripura were present in Shahjahanpur and many more will be joining.
Meanwhile, thousands of farmers from across Maharashtra have begun gathering in Mumbai for an agitation against the three central farm laws, in solidarity with the farmers protesting at Delhi borders. Around 15,000 farmers gathered at the Golf club maidan at Nashik on Saturday before marching to Ghatandevi near Igatpuri. On Sunday, they started a march to Mumbai.
The farmers, converged under the banner of Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM) and supported by other social and political organisations, will be joined by top leaders like Sharad Pawar, Aaditya Thackeray and Balasaheb Thorat on Monday, SSKM convenor Ashok Dhawale said.
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