Farmers' protest may be sabotaged by Pakistan's ISI, alerts intel report
The ongoing farmers' protest around Delhi's borders, which is now ongoing for seven months, is likely to be sabotaged by Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), reported news agency ANI on Saturday, citing alerts issued by intelligence agencies. According to the report, officials have alerted the Delhi Police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) regarding the potential threat to the farmers' stir.
The officials have sent a letter to the police and the central armed forces, warning that ISI proxies based in Pakistan may try to sabotage the farmers' movement by instigating security personnel deployed at the site, ANI reported. To this end, the news agency said that the Delhi Police have tightened security measures and taken "adequate arrangements". Additional manpower will also be deployed outside Metro stations, the police said.
Moreover, as a precautionary measure, three Delhi Metro stations will remain shut from 10am to 2pm on Saturday. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) reportedly took the step on the advice of the Delhi Police, in view of the potential threat to security.
There were isolated reports of disturbances across protest sites over the past few weeks, as the police blamed the farmers. The protesters, in turn, said that their movement has been largely peaceful, yet the police used force to disperse them. Protesting farmers have also been opposing the public functions of BJP-JJP leaders in Haryana over the farm laws.
The Delhi Police alleged earlier this month that several protesters assaulted two of its special branch officers at the Singhu Border who were at the site for ground analysis. An FIR against unknown protestors was also lodged at the Narela police station. Decrying the allegations, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait had said that the intention of the police and government is to instigate farmers. Earlier, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Yogendra Yadav, too, said that the government has failed to address the grievances of farmers and it is trying to break the farm stir by using different tools.
Yadav said Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar claimed that he is just one call away from the farmers to discuss their issue but the protesters are yet to get his call.
Farmers across the nation are slated to hold a protest march on Saturday, June 26, to mark the completion of seven months of their agitation against the central government's three farm laws. The farmers' protest, which has yet to make a breakthrough, has been consistent with its single-minded demand to repeal the three farm laws, even though seven have passed since the movement began. They have demanded that the three laws -- the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops.
Meanwhile, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday urged all farmers' unions to conclude their agitation against the government, insisting, once again, that the farm reforms will better their lives.