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Delhi Police meeting with farmers inconclusive

Farmers plan a march near Parliament during session

Ahead of the march planned by farmers near Parliament during the monsoon session, the Delhi police’s meeting with the farmer unions remained inconclusive on Sunday.

A senior police officer said they had requested the farmers to reconsider their protest call citing the DDMA guidelines and the outbreak of COVID-19 third wave.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha leaders have given assurances of “peaceful” protest.

“We laid out the plan. We don’t plan to do any gherao [or laying siege], and the idea of trying to enter Parliament is ruled out. We have no intent whatsoever to disrupt the functioning of Parliament in any way,” said SKM leader Yogendra Yadav, who was part of the farmers’ delegation.

The monsoon session begins on Monday, and the farmers intend to begin their daily protest from July 22.

“We told them [the police] we would not take unlimited crowds. We are only taking 200 select persons. To be doubly sure, we have said these 200 will leave only from the Singhu border. They would leave in pre-decided buses. Each of them will carry an identity card, and the list will be supplied to the police in advance. So we have taken all precautions possible,” said Mr. Yadav.

“We wanted to be extremely careful and ensure that no disruptionist uses this opportunity to do something that will bring a bad name to the movement,” he added, noting that the Sikhs for Justice group, which was not part of the SKM, had already given a call for a siege of Parliament.

The monsoon session of Parliament will start on Monday and is scheduled to conclude on August 13.

Every detail about each protester will be given to the police, including a demonstrator’s Aadhaar card and the mobile phone number, said the farmers at the meeting.

Farmers have been protesting against the Central laws since November last year at the Delhi border points of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur.

The Delhi police said they would consult and get back to the SKM, said Mr. Yadav, who added that the farm unions did not apply for permission to protest, and intend to continue their preparations.

‘Equal share’

“All the 40 farm unions involved in the SKM will have an equal share in the protest, with five members from each union participating each day,” said Dharmendra Malik, spokesperson for the Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait. “Out of these five members, there will be a team leader who will be fully accountable for his team. The selection of the satyagrahis is being done after thorough scrutiny, with ID cards being issued on the basis of Aadhaar cards,” he added.

Barricades set up

Police said multi-layer barricades had been installed in the New Delhi area to avoid tresspassing during the monsoon session. “A team also visited the Red fort, Parliament and other locations to check preparedness. A bomb disposal squad and Quick Reaction Teams have been deployed at key locations. The area around Parliament will remain under round-the-clock security till the monsoon session ends,” said the senior police officer.

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