Farmers’ Group Plans To Veer From Agreed Upon Route For Tractor Rally

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A day ahead of the farmers’ big tractor rally on Republic Day, one of the key participants – the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee – declared that it would not stick to the route agreed upon by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha and the police. Their parade, the group said, will approach Delhi’s Outer Ring Road, raising a possibility of conflict with the police which has chalked out the routes from three locations at the border after a series of meetings with farmers’s groups. The rally will mark the completion of two months of protest against the Centre’s contentious farm laws by farmers camping at the borders of Delhi. On Budget day, February 1, the farmers are planning a foot march to parliament.

  1. “There are some anti-national elements who have been carrying out provocation. There are few who want to take advantage of this kisan rally,” Delhi Police chief SN Srivastave said on Monday. The farmers at Singhu border had detained a young man on Friday and later, handed him over to the police. The man claimed he was trained by a policeman to disrupt the tractor rally and break up the protest.
  2. Huge security arrangements have been made for the rally, which will begin at 10 am after the day’s traditional parade by the armed forces on Rajpath. It will be held along the Ring Road in three parts of Delhi.  The police have said the rally cannot enter Delhi before the Republic Day parade ends.
  3.  The Delhi Police has issued detailed traffic guidelines, asking motorists to avoid the National Highway 44, and the roads to border areas including Singhu and Tikri. People have also been asked to avoid the Ghazipur Border and roads leading to National Highway 24, Road No. 56 and Apsara Border.
  4. In other states, the farmers are on a protest mode as well. In Meerut, the police were seen reasoning with farmers, asking them not to proceed towards Delhi as enough farmers are there already.
  5. In Mumbai, farmers protesting at Azad Maidan were stopped while trying to move towards the Raj Bhavan. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, however was not in town and the delegates who managed to reach, were turned away.
  6. Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar, who had joined the farmers’ rally on Sunday, said, “You all are going to the Governor. But Maharashtra has not seen such a Governor before. He has time to meet Kangana Ranaut but not the farmers. He should have been here to speak to you but he is not”.
  7. Around 15,000 farmers from Maharashtra’s 21 districts, gathering under the banner of the All India Kisan Sabha, had reached Mumbai on Sunday to protest against the farm laws. Dramatic visuals showed them making their way into the city in cars, jeeps, vans and trucks mounted with red flags.
  8. The rally is being held despite the Centre’s objections after the Supreme Court left the matter to the Delhi Police, saying it pertains to law and order. The court had earlier refused the stop the farmers’ protest at the Delhi border, pointing out that a peaceful protest is a fundamental right.
  9. Eleven rounds of talks have been held between the farmers and the Central government but there been no breakthrough. The farmers have turned down the Centre’s last offer to put the laws on hold for 18 months while a special committee conducts negotiations.  Today, agriculture minister Narendra Tomar said, “The government has given the best offer to farmers” unions.”.
  10. The farmers are holding out for a complete repeal of the laws, which they say will shrink their income and leave them at the mercy of corporates. They also want a legal guarantee about the continuation of the Minimum Support Price, which they fear will be discontinued after a point. The government has made it clear that it would not repeal the laws, saying they are a major reform I the farm sector. It has also promised only a written guarantee for the support prices it offers the farmers.