February 2, 2021 1:46:22 am
A protest site in Palwal that had been cleared three days ago was revived once more on Monday morning by residents of local villages, who started a demonstration against the three farm laws.
Led by Arun Jaildar, president of the 52 pals of Palwal and surrounding areas, protesters sat on one side of NH-19, where farmers from Madhya Pradesh had been protesting for two months. The latter, however, had returned home on January 28 citing dwindling numbers, and claimed they may return after a few days.
“The Madhya Pradesh farmers had the support of local people all through their demonstration. We had only taken a step back for a few days after Republic Day because we were shocked and confused by what happened. In the days since, as it became clear that it was all a conspiracy to taint our movement, we decided to return and resume the protest. However, police and the administration used our absence to pressure farmers to return. They were not even able to inform us of this because the internet had been cut off,” said Jaildar.
The protest resumed in the morning with 11 people. By afternoon, the number was in the hundreds. Leaders said they expect more people to turn up as the call for protest is circulated further. The protesters, leaders said, have reached an understanding with each other on taking turns to stay at the protest site.
“We expect the numbers will increase. In the coming days, our site will be no lesser than any other protest site… Local residents are making contributions — someone is giving ration, others are helping set up tents. The earlier protest has resumed, but with more strength,” said Jaildar.
Palwal Police, meanwhile, said adequate personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order. “There are fewer protesters this time… it is just local residents… We anticipate they will probably protest during the day and return home at night. The situation is peaceful, they have assured us they will not block traffic. We have designated a place by the side where they can protest, and they assured us they will remain there,” said Deepak Gahlawat, Superintendent of Police, Palwal.
“Around 500-600 personnel were deployed today… Deployment may be altered later depending on the number of protesters,” he said.
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