Farmers Get Green Light From DDMA To Protest Jantar Mantar Until August 9 | Latest India News
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday authorized groups of farmers to protest in Jantar Mantar from July 22 to August 9, with a maximum of 200 people in attendance and appropriate Covid-19 protocols in place, although large gatherings remain banned in the nation’s capital in light of the pandemic.
The authority’s decision came three days after a Delhi police delegation met farmer leaders at the Singhu border and asked them to reconsider their proposed march to parliament on July 22 and a protest they planned to start on the same day, citing DDMA orders banning religions, cultural, political, sporting, academic and other gatherings in the city to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“I am invited to convey the approval of Lieutenant Governor Delhi / Chairman of Delhi Disaster Management Authority for a phased protest in Jantar Mantar by up to 200 farmers / members of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha daily from 07/22 .2021 to 08.09.2021 between 11 a.m. and 5 a.m. pm, ”DDMA said in a letter to Delhi police on Wednesday, a copy of which HT saw.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is the Chairman of DDMA and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal the Vice Chairman.
After the order, Delhi police increased security measures at the protest site and several senior Delhi police officers, including police chief Balaji Srivastava, visited Jantar Mantar to check preparations in place. Between 200 and 300 security personnel are expected to be deployed in and around Jantar Mantar and adjacent roads during the protest.
In a statement, Delhi Police spokesman Chinmoy Biswal said: “After several rounds of negotiations with farmers’ organizations … and after being assured in writing that they will remain peaceful and with approval of the DDMA, they were allowed to protest against Jantar Mantar with a limited number … They will be escorted to the designated place from the Singhu border by bus. They have been advised to observe appropriate behavior in Covid and social distancing … Delhi police have extensive provisions in place to ensure the protest program remains peaceful. “
Farmers have been protesting at the various borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against three newly enacted agricultural laws. The peasant leaders and the Center have held several rounds of talks, but the deadlock remains.
Farmers’ unions plan to intensify their agitation for nearly eight months by protesting until the scheduled end of the monsoon session of parliament, to demand the repeal of the three farm laws passed in September last year. The monsoon session of Parliament began on July 19 and is expected to end on August 13.
The call for protest was made by Samyukt Kisan Morcha, who is spearheading the agitation against controversial farm laws.
Asked about the current guidelines, which ban gatherings, a senior DDMA official, who asked not to be named, said the permission is an “exemption” in light of “contributions” received from police in Delhi.
Delhi Police have pledged with SKM, an umbrella organization of around 40 farmer groups, that their protest will be peaceful and that the 200 protesters there will observe appropriate behavior for Covid. They will also not attempt to leave the protest site or disrupt parliament, senior police officers with knowledge of the case have said.
Police installed CCTV cameras in and around the protest site on Wednesday. With the exception of the 200 protesters, who will carry ID cards issued by SKM, media and security personnel, no members of the public will be allowed at the protest site, a senior police officer said, who asked not to be named.
Another police officer said an escort team will reach the Singhu border on Thursday morning and check five buses and an SUV in which the farmers will travel to Jantar Mantar. The ID cards of the participants, issued by SKM, will be checked before they are allowed into the vehicles, which the farmers will organize.
“An ambulance will also accompany the police escort team and the farmers’ vehicles. The safety of the routes that the buses take will be the responsibility of the relevant district police. Once the protest is over, the farmers will be driven back to the Singhu border, ”said the second officer.
Rakesh Tikait, the main leader of Union Bharatiya Kisan (Tikait group), said that a new batch of 200 farmers, duly verified by SKM and provided with valid ID cards, will come to Jantar Mantar every day, as part of the “Kisan Sansad”.
“We never said anything about ‘sansad gherao’, but about holding a kisan sansad anywhere outside of Parliament where the public is allowed. The 200 farmers who will participate in the protest will follow all Covid guidelines. It will be a peaceful agitation, ”Tikait said.
In a press release, SKM said: “From tomorrow, the contingents of two hundred farmers from Samyukt Kisan Morcha would each reach Jantar Mantar to protest the government and organize their own Kisan Sansad every working day of Parliament, until the end of the monsoon session. [on August 13]. Preparations are underway for the same … ”
National President Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh Shiv Kumar Kakka, who was part of the engaged nine-member coordination that held two meetings with Delhi police in the past three days, said police asked them to reduce the number demonstrators at the site.
“We rejected this request saying that many groups of farmers were part of the agitation, and we have to take two or three representatives from each group,” he said.