Protesting farmers to enter Delhi after long confrontation with police

Swaraj India’s Yogendra Yadav tweeted that protesting farmers had been allowed to enter Delhi and given permission to protest at Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari

By Shagun
Published: Friday 27 November 2020

As thousands of farmers inched closer to the national capital November 27, 2020, the farmer groups conglomeration ‘Samyukt Kisan Morcha’ appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Police to stop the “confrontationist attitude” and ensure farmers have a free and safe passage into Delhi.

The farmers — who have been repeatedly subjected to lathi-charge, tear gas and water cannons by the police — started the ‘Delhi Chalo’ agitation against the central government’s new farm laws and proposed Electricity Bill, 2020 on November 25.

The national president of Swaraj India, Yogendra Yadav tweeted that protesting farmers had been allowed to enter the national capital and given permission to protest at Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari. 

The national convenor of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee November 27 tweeted “arrangements had been made for farmers to stay in the national capital”.

The letter to the PM stated:

The nation, and the Government of India in particular have reached a crucial juncture when they have to ensure that farmers should not undergo this, and to ensure that no untoward incident occurs in an unfortunate stand-off between our annadatas and the government. It is because our voices were not heard and taken into account when framing the ordinances or passing them as Acts in the Parliament that has brought about this situation. The representations given to you multiple times in mounting agitations by farmers and their organisations across India are yet to receive replies from you.

The Delhi Police have reportedly sought the government’s permission to use the city’s nine stadiums as temporary jails to house protesting farmers from Punjab and Haryana. Farmers, meanwhile, have requested space, for instance the Ramlila Maidan, where they could gather and hold talks with the Centre.

Farmers protest in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. Photo: AIKSCC

Some farmers had reached Tikri border near the Delhi-Bahadurgarh highway and Singhu border 26-27 November. The Delhi Police used coercive measures, including lathi-charge, water cannons and tear gas shells, to disperse them. Many others reached adjoining areas like Panipat and Sirsa by Friday.

Heavy security, meanwhile, remained deployed at the Delhi-Haryana border areas. To stop farmers from entering the city, Delhi Police used sand-laden trucks as barricades and barbed wire for fencing at the Singhu border.

Haryana and Uttar Pradesh police deployed similar coercive tactics and tried to stop the farmers from marching by placing barricades, sand-laden trucks in multiple layers, barbed wire fences and boulders across roads and trenches.

“They are doing this in the cruel winters of north India. We have been marching nonetheless, and thankfully without any untoward incident so far,” the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said.

 It requested the PM and the Delhi police commissioner to take necessary action in view of the “emergent and urgent situation” that has emerged.

It asked the government and police to ensure that the farmers have a free and safe passage into Delhi “without creating a situation where any untoward incident is justified later on as having been necessitated, which will cause a completely avoidable break away from the very peaceful manner that we have adopted so far.”

Meanwhile, entry and exit gates of six Delhi metro stations on the Green Line — Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, Bahadurgarh City, Pandit Shree Ram Sharma, Tikri Border, Tikri Kalan and Ghevra — were closed to prevent farmers from commuting further, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

Farmers from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh were detained at the Rajasthan-Uttar Pradesh border at Semar Ka Pura by the UP police Wednesday night. Other groups that were stopped in Agra haven’t been able to march forward so far.

Meanwhile, several farmers groups not marching towards Delhi have been protesting in their villages through ‘Kisan Sangharsh Samitis’.

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