New Delhi: Delhi Police on Saturday granted official permission to the farmers to carry out a tractor rally on January 26 inside the national capital, but on the condition that they will start only after the completion of the official parade on Rajpath. As per the agreement, the farmers will enter Delhi from the borders, but stay in the adjoining areas and not venture towards Central Delhi. Also Read - Farmers to Gherao Agriculture Ministry on Feb 26, Govt Says Ready to Resume Talks With Protesters | Key Points
Detailing the plan for the tractor parade, Deependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) said the rally on Tuesday will be conducted amid tight security after the Republic Day celebrations conclude. Also Read - 'Creating Toolkit Not an Offence': 5 Big Statements by Court as Disha Ravi Walks Out of Jail
Pathak said, “As the farmers wanted to do a tractor rally on January 26, we have come to a conclusion that the rally will be conducted after the timing of the Republic Day Celebration ends. We have given them around 170 kilometres of distance in three routes.”
Barricades and other security arrangements will be removed and the farmers will enter the national capital. Later, they will return to their destinations after covering a “respectable” distance, police said.
“For the Delhi Police, it will be a challenging task. We have spoken to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Police officers about how it will be conducted in a convenient way. The rally will be started after the time period of the Republic Day Celebration has ended,” Pathak said.
We will have the tractor rally on January 26 and there will be no disturbance of the Republic Day celebration and security arrangements, Pathak said. Three routes, originating from Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points, have been finalized for the march. The professional assessment of these routes has been done, he said.
Earlier in the day, a member of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a joint front of the protesting farmer unions, said the tractor parade will start after the official Republic Day parade concludes at Rajpath.
The expected number of tractors should be distributed in a way that the rally is concluded in a peaceful and disciplined way, police said, adding that adequate security will be provided to the rally.
“The rally will start from Singhu border and pass through Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, Kanjhawala, Bawana, Auchandi Borer, Kundli Manesar Palwal expressway and will return to Singhu border. It will cover a stretch of around 62 kilometres,” Pathak said.
He said the farmers with their tractors will start from Tikri border and pass via Nangloi, Najafgarh, Jharoda, Kundli Manesar Palwal expressway and will head back to Tikri border.
The rally from Ghazipur border will pass through Apsara Border, Hapur Road Kundli Manesar Palwal expressway and conclude at Ghazipur. These farmers groups will cover 46 kilometres of distance, Pathak said.
The routes will cover over 100 kilometres of distance in the national capital, police said.
As of now, there are approximately 12,000 to 13,000 tractors at various Delhi border points — around 7,000 to 8,000 at Tikri, around 5,000 at Singhu and around 1,000 at Ghazipur border — police said, adding that their number is expected to go further up.
While police tried to convince farmer leaders to hold their tractor parade outside the national capital, they were adamant on holding the proposed rally on Delhi’s busy Outer Ring Road.
Earlier, there have been three rounds of meetings between the unions and police officers from Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, but it was during the fourth round of talks over the tractor parade on Friday where both sides reached an agreement.
Meanwhile, farmer leaders on Sunday appealed to those participating in the Republic Day tractor march to carry enough ration for 24 hours and ensure that the rally remains peaceful.
Here is a list of instructions issued by the farmer unions for all those participating in the rally:
- No one should carry any weapon or drink alcohol. Banners carrying inciting messages are not allowed, a farmer leader said.
- The farmer leaders will be on the frontline in their cars. All vehicles will have to return to the originating place. No one will try and stop midway without a valid reason, the farmer leaders said.
- Each tractor will carry a tricolour and there will be only folk music and patriotic songs. Only five people per tractor will be allowed and strict vigil is being maintained to thwart any criminal activity, they said.
- You are requested to carry jackets and blankets considering the weather. Everyone has to return to the starting point (their base), one of the leaders said.
- Farmer leaders said the tractor parade will remain peaceful and will not affect the official Republic Day parade in any way.
- A war room has been set up at each protest site to ensure effective coordination during the parade. There will be 40 members, including doctors, security personnel and social media managers, in each of these rooms, the SKM member said.
- Around 40 ambulances will be stationed along the route to attend to any medical emergency.
- Another farmer leader said around 3,000 volunteers have been deployed to ensure that the parade remains peaceful and no untoward incident takes place. The volunteers have been given badges and identity cards.
- A team of ex-servicemen participating in the protest will also keep an eye on the security situation.
- A team of mechanics has also been created to repair tractors if the need arises, they said.