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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Farmers’ Protest Highlights: Security tightened at Jantar Mantar, Singhu border in Delhi

Farmer protest Highlights: This is the first time since the tractor rally on January 26, when violence broke out in the national capital, that authorities have permitted the farmers to hold protests.

Written by Jignasa Sinha , Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
Updated: July 23, 2021 5:36:12 pm
The farmers ended the day with the national anthem and said they will keep returning to Jantar Mantar in batches. (Express Photo)

Farmers’ Protest Highlights: After the farmers wrapped up their sit-in at Jantar Mantar Thursday evening, security was tightened at the protest site, along with the Singhu border, which has seen a prolonged farmers’ protest since November last year.

The farmers on Thursday said they will keep returning to Jantar Mantar in batches. Farmer leaders have also contended that they suspect that they were being snooped on by the government through Israeli software Pegasus. Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav said the phone numbers of farmer leaders will figure in the data of the year 2020-21.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi apologised for calling the protesting farmers ‘mawalis’ (ruffians) on Thursday.

This is the first time since the tractor rally on January 26, when violence broke out in the National Capital, that authorities have permitted the farmers to hold protests. The agitating farmers plan to protest against the government’s farm laws and hold ‘Kisan Sansads’ on each working day of Parliament until the monsoon session ends.

Live Blog

Security tightened at protest sites; farmers to hold 'Kisan Sansads’ until the monsoon Parliament session ends. Follow this space for the latest updates on the Delhi farmers protests today. 

09:21 (IST)23 Jul 2021
As farmers protest at Jantar Mantar, Tomar says govt still has ‘open mind’

Outside Parliament, on Thursday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that if farmer unions pointed out their objections to the provisions of the three farm laws they were protesting against, the government would be ready to discuss them with an “open mind”.

“The whole country knows that the agriculture reform laws are in the interest of farmers, beneficial for the farmers, providing options to the farmers, increasing their income and freeing them from legal clutches,” Tomar, who was the lead negotiator for the government in 11 rounds of unsuccessful talks with the protesters, told reporters.

“As far as the farmer unions’ movement is concerned, the government has discussed with them with utmost sensitivity. On which provision of the bills, they have objection; if they point out the objection, even today the government is ready to discuss with them with an open mind,” Tomar said. Read more

Sonia Mann with farmers at their ‘Kisan Sansad’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)
08:59 (IST)23 Jul 2021
First day of farmers' protest peaceful: Delhi Police

The Delhi Police Thursday called the first day of farmers' protest at Jantar Mantar 'peaceful'. The police had made 'necessary arrangements' in view of the ongoing Parliament session and the upcoming Independence Day. "We hope that we'll get this support and coordination in future also," Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police PRO was quoted as saying by ANI.

08:34 (IST)23 Jul 2021
In pics: Security tightened at Singhu border

Security was tightened at Delhi's Singhu border Friday morning, which has witnessed the farmers' protest since November 2020.

08:26 (IST)23 Jul 2021
Meenakshi Lekhi apologises for calling protesting farmers ‘mawalis’

Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi Thursday called the protesting farmers ‘mawalis’ (ruffians), inviting a sharp reaction from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who demanded her “immediate resignation” and said her remarks reflect the BJP’s “anti-farmer” mindset.

Lekhi told The Indian Express, “My words have been twisted. The (question during) press conference was on a completely different subject. Irrespective of anything, if my words have hurt farmers, I take them back and I apologise.” Read more.

20:18 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Lekhi slams protesting farmers

Union minister and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday denounced farm union bodies protesting against three contentious farm laws as "mawali" (ruffian) after she was asked about incidents of alleged violence during their protests. After a reporter referred to "farmers" attacking a camera person when he was covering their protests at Jantar Mantar, she said, "You should stop calling them farmers because they are not farmers. They are playing in the hands of some conspirators. Farmers don't have time to sit in Jantar Mantar. They are working in their farms. Middlemen are behind them (protestors) who do not want farmers to get benefits." --PTI

18:13 (IST)22 Jul 2021
'Very concerned' about well-being of women farmers protesting at Delhi borders: Govt

The government is 'very concerned' about the well-being of women farmers protesting at Delhi borders, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Replying to a question, Irani said the agriculture ministry has appealed to the protesting farmers' unions that women should be requested to go home keeping in view the severe weather conditions and Covid pandemic. "The government has been very concerned about the well-being of women farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare during discussions with the farmers' unions appealed to them that children and elders, especially women, should be requested to go home keeping in view the severe weather conditions and the Covid pandemic," Irani said in a written reply. --PTI

18:11 (IST)22 Jul 2021
End protest and come for talks: Tomar to agitating farmers at Jantar Mantar

With a group of farmers reaching Jantar Mantar here to protest against the three new farm laws, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday urged them to leave the path of agitation and come for talks. Tomar said farmers across the country have favoured the three farm laws. After getting special permission from Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, a group of 200 farmers reached Jantar Mantar -- adjacent to the Parliament Complex -- in central Delhi to protest against the Centre's three contentious farm laws amid the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. They have got permission to protest till August 9 amid heavy security. Asked about the farmers' protest at Jantar Mantar, Tomar said, "I want to tell through you (media) that farmers should leave the path of protest and come for dialogue. We are ready for talks if they come with issues in the bills." --PTI

17:26 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Farmers end protest with national anthem

The farmers ended the day with the national anthem and said they will keep returning to Jantar Mantar in batches. They've wrapped up for the day, are now in the buses. The buses will go to Singhu and those from Tikri and Ghazipur will disperse from there later in the evening.

15:01 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Parliament not taking up our issues: Hannan Mollah

We have written to all MPs to raise our demands, but Parliament not taking up our issues, says Farmer union leader Hannan Mollah at Jantar Mantar at press meet

14:47 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Farmers have come to Jantar Mantar to prove to govt they aren't fools: Yogendra Yadav

Farmers have come to Jantar Mantar to prove to govt they aren't fools; UK parliament debating our issues, but not our govt: Yogendra Yadav

14:31 (IST)22 Jul 2021
'The distance between us and Parliament is constantly reducing,' says Rakesh Tikait

Speaking to the media, Rakesh Tikait said, 'the distance between us and the parliament is constantly reducing, we are just a few hundred metres away now. Two hundred farmers will come here to protest everyday, under this very tree.'  

'This will be a historic tree,' he said referring to the neem tree under which they are protesting.


Rakesh Tikait addresses the media
14:26 (IST)22 Jul 2021
In pics: Farmers gather at Jantar Mantar

Agenda for the day: leaders are discussing the three laws in detail one by one. They hope that their voices reach parliament.
Farmers break for lunch at 2. A langar was organised by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for around 300 people.
Barricades and security personnel surround the protestors at Jantar Mantar. 

13:49 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Rahul Gandhi, Left leaders hold dharna in solidarity with farmer leaders

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and several MPs from Left parties, DMK and RJD staged a dharna in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament in solidarity with the protesting farmers.

13:11 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Farmers arrive at Jantar Mantar

A bus carrying farmers from Singhu border arrives at Jantar Mantar. (Ashna Butani)

Farmers will hold protests at Jantar Mantar from today onwards. (Ashna Butani)

A van carrying farmer leaders was the first to arrive. (Ashna Butani)

12:46 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Cong MPs protest inside Parliament complex, demand repeal of new agri laws

ongress MPs staged a protest inside the Parliament complex in support of protesting farmers and demanded that the three agriculture laws be withdrawn. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other leaders of the party participated in the protest.

Congress MPs from both houses gathered outside Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament complex and raised slogans against the government and the prime minister. Carrying placards and hoardings, they also raised slogans in support of the farmers and their demands. (PTI)

12:15 (IST)22 Jul 2021
SAD MPs hold placards, protest against farm laws outside Parliament

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MPs stood with placards protesting against the Centre's contentious farm laws as Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar entered the Parliament premises today.

12:10 (IST)22 Jul 2021
In pics: Security personnel patrolling Jantar Mantar ahead of protest

Rapid Actiom Force personnel deployed at Jantar Mantar. (Jignasa Sinha)
Security at Jantar Mantar has been tightened in view of the protest by farmers. (Ashna Butani)

12:03 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Farmers arrive at Jantar Mantar amid heightened security

Farmers have begun to arrive at Jantar Mantar. A van carrying farmer leaders was the first to reach, and will soon be followed by buses from Singhu border. 

A group of 200 farmers will travel to Jantar Mantar from their Singhu border demonstration site with a police escort and will hold a protest there from 11 am to 5 pm.

11:38 (IST)22 Jul 2021
Police frisking completed, farmers now at by-pass road

After their buses were halted and they were frisked near Singhu border by the police, protesting farmers are now making their way towards Jantar Mantar. Their buses have crossed Bypass road near Mukarba Chowk. (Input from Jignasa Sinha)

11:07 (IST)22 Jul 2021
As farmers make way towards Jantar Mantar, traffic affected in parts of Delhi

Several parts of the National Capital witnessed traffic jams today as farmers protesting at Singhu border made their way towards Jantar Mantar. Senior traffic police officials said the police is on "high alert" due to the farmers' protest.


Farm laws Farmers hold protest against the three farm laws (Express file photo by Gurmeet SIngh)

In a letter to the Additional Commissioner of Police (Headquarters), Delhi Police, Additional CEO of DDMA Rajesh Goyal said the Lieutenant Governor had given his approval for a “staggered protest at Jantar Mantar by maximum 200 protesting farmers/members of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) every day from July 22 to August 9, between 11 am and 5 pm”. The protests will not be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Police sought a clarification from the L-G as restrictions on gatherings are still prohibited in the city as part of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

The letter states that protesting farmers will use “designated buses and six members of one separate group by a designated SUV on a given route under a police escort, subject to strict observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour”.

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