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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Monsoon session today, Delhi police ask farmers to shift protest from Parliament

The Delhi Police, meanwhile, has asked the DMRC to shut seven Metro stations, if needed, in New Delhi district in view of the protest.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: July 19, 2021 1:32:28 am
Farmers have decided to hold protests every day outside the Parliament during the Monsoon Session against the Centre's new farm laws. (Representational Photo)

A day before farmers are supposed to start their protest outside the Parliament, a team of five senior Delhi Police officers met a delegation of farmer leaders and asked them to review their decision as the monsoon session begins on Monday. The team also asked farmers to suggest alternate venues to hold their protest during the meeting at the Mantram resort in Alipur on Sunday afternoon.

Farmers have been sitting in protest against the three farm laws at three Delhi borders — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur.

The Delhi Police, meanwhile, has asked the DMRC to shut seven Metro stations, if needed, in New Delhi district in view of the protest. Police have urged officials to keep “extra vigil” at Janpath, Lok Kalyan Marg, Patel Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat,

Mandi House and Udyog Bhawan from Monday till the end of the monsoon session on August 13.

Several members of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), including Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal, Hannan Mollah, Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Yogendra Yadav issued a ‘voters whip’ to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members on Saturday, asking them to raise farmers’ demands and not walk out during the monsoon session.

On Saturday, a meeting was held at Delhi Police HQ where it was decided by police chief Balaji Srivastava that five senior officers will talk to senior farmer leaders to convince them to avoid coming outside the Parliament during the monsoon session.

“During Sunday’s meeting, officers first informed farmers about DDMA guidelines and fears of a third Covid wave. They also said the Kanwar Yatra has been called off Uttarakhand, and farmers should think wisely. The team also discussed the tractor parade in Delhi on January 26, which was hijacked by some other persons and thousands of protesters entered Delhi after breaking barricades, created ruckus, attacked police personnel, and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort,” a senior officer said.

Police also suggested that the farmers hold a protest, which farmers said would comprise 200 people, at a different venue.

Following the meeting, however, farmers said the protest outside the Parliament will be peaceful and there are no plans to call it off. “A nine-member meeting was held on Sunday with the Delhi Police where we informed them of our plans to protest in front of the Parliament. We assured them that there is no intention of surrounding the Parliament nor entering it. A group of 200 protesters from across states will gather each day to mark the protest,” said SKM in a statement.

In the first week of July, a meeting was held among farmer unions and a decision was taken to intensify their protest against the government, keeping in mind the monsoon session. Since then, farmers have been arriving from various states to participate in the protest.

Directions to DMRC

In a letter signed by DCP (Metro) Jitendra Mani, police said the Delhi Metro is the “most favoured form of conveyance and protesters may use the Metro to reach/gather in New Delhi area”.

DCPs from the Metro and New Delhi area have requested the DMRC to keep an extra vigil on the seven Metro stations as well as other stations in New Delhi district. “DCP New Delhi has also requested to keep… extra vigil on… Metro Stations, which lie in New Delhi area and may be closed wef 19.07.2021 onwards till the Monsoon Session is over… to refrain the protesters from reaching to the Parliament via Metro and to avoid any untoward incident,” reads the letter.

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