India

Delhi Police beefs up security as farmers begin to protest at Jantar Mantar

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Farmers to hold protest from Thursday (July 22) against the three Union farm laws at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. While the centre had granted permission for the protest, Delhi Police has tightened security in the capital to avoid the violence and chaos that took place at the Red Fort on January 26 this year.

Protest Protocols The protest can be held between 11 am and 5 pm every day, but no protest march will be allowed, the Delhi Police have said. The number of protesters at the site cannot exceed 206 — 200 from the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and six persons from Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee.

The farmers will be escorted from Singhu border to Jantar Mantar in buses and have to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Farmers are not allowed to gather anywhere else other than their designated protest site.  

The 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’ protest and said, “It has not given written permission to the farmers so far to gather near Parliament.”

It is decided that 200 farmers will assemble near Jantar Mantar every day from Thursday (July 22) until the monsoon session ends. “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 a discussion over the APMC Act. Later, the other bills will also be discussed every two days,” the farmer leaders said on Tuesday. 

On the other hand, the government is ready to hold talks over the three farm laws. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that so far eleven 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. 

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur bordders 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.

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