Farmers get green signal to protest at Jantar Mantar – with some riders

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has granted permission to farmers, who have been protesting against the Centre’s farm laws at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders since last November, to hold staggered protests at Jantar Mantar starting Thursday.

Farmers plan to protest against the government and hold ‘Kisan Sansads’ on each working day of the Parliament until the monsoon session ends.

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In a letter to the Additional Commissioner of Police (Headquarters), Delhi Police, Additional CEO of DDMA Rajesh Goyal said the Lieutenant Governor had given his approval for a “staggered protest at Jantar Mantar by maximum 200 protesting farmers/members of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) every day from July 22 to August 9, between 11 am and 5 pm”. The protests will not be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Police sought a clarification from the L-G as restrictions on gatherings are still prohibited in the city as part of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

The letter states that protesting farmers will use “designated buses and six members of one separate group by a designated SUV on a given route under a police escort, subject to strict observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour”.

The DCP (Security), meanwhile, has directed all police personnel to bring their khaki uniforms while on duty during the protests and also asked the equipment store in-charge to be present for distribution of anti-riot gear.

In the order, the DCP asked off-duty personnel to be on “standby mode” for emergency services. “Mobile phones of all personnel posted in the security unit shall be operational and not be switched off at any cost. The PSOs shall also ensure safe and easy access of all PPs at the Parliament… shall keep two companies with anti-riot gears in ready position,” states the order.

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Police have also secured an undertaking from farmers regarding the protests. “They have assured us they will protest at Jantar Mantar from 10 am to 5 pm. They assured they will not cross the area of Jantar Mantar and their protests will be peaceful. They have been allowed to sit at Jantar Mantar till August 9,” a senior police officer said.

Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal said farmers have been asked not to take out any marches in view of Covid restrictions and it has put in place “extensive arrangements to ensure the protest programme remains peaceful”.

Farm leaders, meanwhile, said that from Thursday, contingents of 200 farmers will reach Jantar Mantar for the protest each day. They also said more farmers are reaching the borders each day to join the protest. “A large contingent of farmers in a long convoy, led by BKU Chaduni, left from Yamunanagar on Tuesday. Similar mobilisations are happening at other protest sites too,” a statement by the SKM said.

Source: Indian Express

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