New Delhi: The Delhi Police has tightened the security at Jantar Mantar road in the national capital as scores of farmers are scheduled to hold a massive protest against the three Union farm laws on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the Delhi government granted permission to farmers to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar.Also Read - Gurjeet Singh Aujla, TN Prathapan and Seven Other Lok Sabha MPs Likely To Be Suspended For Throwing Papers At Chair
Delhi Special Commissioner of Police (Crime), Satish Golcha, and Joint Commissioner of Police, Jaspal Singh, visited Jantar Mantar to review security ahead of the farmers organisations gathering at the spot. However, Delhi police said, “It has not given written permission to the farmers so far to gather near Parliament.” Also Read - My Focus Will Be On Basic Policing: Rakesh Asthana Takes Charges As Delhi Police Chief
200 farmers to assemble: The farmer organisations leading the protests at the Singhu border have decided that 200 protesting farmers will assemble at Jantar Mantar every day from Thursday. “We will hold Kisan Parliament from July 22 till the Monsoon Session of Parliament ends and 200 protesters will go to Jantar Mantar every day. One speaker and one deputy speaker will be chosen every day. In the first two days there will be discussion over the APMC Act. Later, the other bills will also be discussed every two days,” the farmer leaders said on Tuesday. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Gujarat Govt Reduces Night Curfew Timing by 1 Hour
Another farmer leader said they will hold peaceful demonstrations at Jantar Mantar and no protester will go to Parliament. The protest will take place at Jantar Mantar from 10 AM to 5 PM.
“When police asked us to reduce the number of protesters, we told them to focus on the law and order situation and also gave an assurance that the protest will be peaceful,” said Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh National President Shiv Kumar Kakka. The Monsoon Session of Parliament started on Monday and is scheduled to conclude on August 13.
Govt open to hold talks: On the other hand, the Central government said it is open to hold talks over the three contentious farm laws with the farmers who have been agitating on the borders of Delhi for nearly eight months.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that so far 11 rounds of talks have been held between the government and farmers’ outfits to find a solution. The farmers’ organizations never agreed to discussions, but only demanded the repeal of the laws. The Agriculture Minister said that the government was always ready for discussions with the farmers to resolve the issue.
Tomar also listed the benefits of the new farm laws. He said, “with these laws, an ecosystem has to be created, in which there is a free choice of sale of agricultural produce and farmers get fair returns. Direct procurement will be done from farmers under all three agricultural laws. There will be rapid investment in storage facilities, which will create more employment opportunities for rural youths. The law aims to promote transparency in the agriculture sector by promoting the electronic system to facilitate remunerative prices to the farmers and encourages investment in storage facilities to generate rural employment.”
Reopen roads near protest sites: In the meantime, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait urged the officials to reopen roads near protest sites, saying no farmer will go to Delhi ‘secretly’. The leader made the remarks at Ghazipur border as the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of protesting farm unions, got permission to hold a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar near Parliament from Thursday.
Tikait said a total of 200 farmers under the SKM will daily go to the Jantar Mantar in a bus as has been allowed. “The roads near protest sites that have been closed by authorities should be reopened to ease troubles of the local people. No farmer would go to Delhi secretly. We will stick to the permitted protest at Jantar Mantar,” he said.
Continuous protest: Hundreds of farmers are encamped at Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders since November 2020 with a demand that 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 (MSP) for crops.