An estimated 200,000–300,000 farmers from some 30 farmer organisations have arrived on the borders of Delhi protest the new Farm Acts | File Photo: PTI

Farmers-cops talks fail; 5,000 more tractors arrive for R-Day rally

The second round of talks between the police and farmer unions regarding the proposed January 26 tractor rally by them in Delhi remained inconclusive on Thursday.

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The second round of talks between the police and farmer unions regarding the proposed January 26 tractor rally by them in Delhi remained inconclusive on Thursday.

Fearing law and order issues, the police had denied permission for the tractor rally on Outer Ring Road. The farmers, however, were firm on their decision to take out the parade on the occasion of Republic Day.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Balbir Singh Rajewal told The Federal that the police cited traffic and law and order issues to deny them permission for the parade.

Related news | Fifth farmer commits suicide at Tikri; death toll now over 135, say unions

“Police gave us an option to do a rally on Kundi-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway but we maintained that we will carry out the march only on Outer Ring Road,” he said, adding they will conduct the rally on Outer Ring Road even if the police doesn’t give them permission.

“We have told the Police our parade will not cause any law and order problems, and it will be a peaceful procession. We have told the same in Supreme Court as well,” Rajewal said.

The protesting farmers suggest the tractor parade would cover a 50-km distance on Outer Ring Road, touching Peeragarhi, Janakpuri, Dhaula Kuan, Munerka, IIT, Khelgaon, Chirag Delhi, Burari, Rohini, and Majnu Ka Tilla, on January 26.

More tractors to join rally

At least 5,000 more tractors from different parts of Haryana and Punjab have arrived at the Delhi borders to take part in the rally.

Among them were Jaspal Singh, a farmer from Amritsar who has covered over 400 kms in 18 hours to reach the protest venue.

“Already 500 tractors from Amritsar have reached the border and more 500 are expected to come. To save fuel, we carried two tractors in the trolleys. By this way, we have saved ₹15,000 on the fuel as well,” Singh told The Federal.

The farmer unions have also announced ₹5,000 fuel costs for tractors taking part in the farmers’ parade on Republic Day. “Since every farmer is not able to afford fuel, the unions have decided to collect money and give ₹5,000 per tractor that’ll take part in the parade,” Jagjit Singh Dalewal, president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Sidhupur told The Federal.

“We are not moving the tractors and trolleys which are currently at the site. More tractors will come from Haryana and Punjab (for the parade). We have decided to do so because the existing tractors at the site act as make-shift houses for the protesting farmers. It will be very difficult to place them in their positions again,” he added.

Related news | Farmers’ R-Day tractor parade to cover 50 km on Outer Ring Road

Over 20,000 tractors from Karnal, the home district of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, are also likely to leave for Delhi for the farmers’ parade.

Dilbag Singh, Karnal district president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chadauni), said: “The BKU requests farmers to participate in the January 26 event in large numbers. We are expecting a participation of more than 20,000 tractors from Karnal district.”

“From other districts of Haryana as well, particularly those near to borders, a large number of tractors will take part. We expect a turnout of 50,000 tractors in the Republic Day parade from Haryana itself,” he added.

Labh Singh from BKU Ugrahan said that this parade will be the biggest tractor parade ever in the world.

“Every day, 5,000 tractors are arriving at the borders from Punjab. Lakhs of tractors from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan will carry out a tractor march in Delhi. Every street of Delhi will be filled by tractors. The farmers not taking part in the Delhi parade will hold one in their respective areas,” he said.

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