Amid farmers’ plans to protest against the controversial farm laws every day of the monsoon session of Parliament that begins on Monday, July 19, a Delhi police team sought to get them to change the venue.
A five-member Delhi police team met farmer leaders at the Mantram resort in Alipur on Sunday afternoon, and requested them to choose a protest venue other than the Parliament premises, said an Indian Express report. The meeting had been decided on at the Delhi police headquarters on Saturday by Commissioner Balaji Srivastava, it added.
Voters’ whip for MPs
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of about 40 farmers’ unions, is planning to hold a protest outside the Parliament building in the capital every day during the monsoon session, with around 200 farmers participating.
The report said SKM members — including Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal, Hannan Mollah, Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Yogendra Yadav — issued a ‘voters’ whip’ to Members of Parliament on Saturday. They asked the MPs to raise farmers’ demands on the floor of Parliament and stage walkouts if the government does not agree to their demands.
“Senior officers will also talk to them about the tractor parade in Delhi on January 26, which was hijacked by some outsiders,” the IE report quoted a senior police officer as saying. “Thousands of protesters entered Delhi after breaking barricades, created a ruckus, attacked police personnel, and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort.”
The farmer leaders plan to help the police on this front. “We told Delhi police that 200 people will march to Parliament from the Singhu border every day. Each person will have an identification badge. We’ll hand over a list of protesters to the government,” farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka was quoted as saying by ANI.
High alert at metro stations
Apart from approaching the farmer leaders, Delhi police has written to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), asking it to be on alert at seven metro stations near the Parliament premises on Monday. An ANI report said the police also urged DMRC to close the Janpath, Lok Kalyan Marg, Patel Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat, Mandi House and Udyog Bhawan stations if required.
“On Sunday, police personnel of the East district also started preparing (for Monday). They are currently training near the Yamuna Khadar. They are being trained to stop farmers in a restrained manner and to save themselves from stone pelters,” an officer said, as quoted by the IE report.