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Farmers protest: ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ at Ramlila Maidan today, elaborate security arrangements in place


Farmers protest: 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' at Ramlila Maidan today, Delhi Police tightens security
Image Source : PTI/FILE The Samyukta Kisan Morcha said that a resolution will also be passed at the mahapanchayat.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) is set to hold the “Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat” at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Thursday. In an official statement, the organisation has announced that “thousands of farmers, agriculture workers, and rural residents have begun their journey towards Delhi to join” the event. The SKM, the umbrella body of farmers’ organisations, said that a resolution will also be passed at the mahapanchayat to “intensify the fight” against the policies of the government.

The SKM also said that the Delhi Police have given them the NOC for conducting the mahapanchayat at Ramlila Maidan on March 14 and arranging parking space and other basic amenities like water, toilets and ambulance with the support of the municipal administration of Delhi.

Not more than 5,000 participants allowed in ‘mahapanchayat’

The Delhi Police has also permitted the farmers’ congregation with a condition that the gathering will neither have more than 5,000 participants, nor tractor trolleys would be allowed near the venue. They have also made elaborate security arrangements that may lead to a heavy traffic jam in the national capital on March 14. 

Speaking to the media, Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) M Harsha Vardhan told PTI that farmers are allowed to hold the ‘mahapanchayat’ with the gathering to not significantly exceed 5,000. He said the farmers have given them the undertaking where they were asked to not come with tractors, without any weapons and also promised that they would not hold any march in Delhi.

Another police officer said the farmers have also been asked to vacate the ground soon after the culmination of their programme after 2.30 pm. “We hope the SKM leadership will abide by the undertaking they have given to us,” the DCP added. 

Farmers protest and their demands

Responding to a call for a march to Delhi, farmers have been gathering and setting up camps at various points along the borders of the national capital since February 13, accompanied by their tractors, mini-vans, and pickup trucks. Their demands include a law ensuring Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the withdrawal of police cases against farmers involved in previous protests.

The protesting farmers have been stationed at two border points between Punjab and Haryana, urging the government to address their grievances. In the latest round of meeting, which concluded after midnight on February 18, a panel of three Union ministers proposed the purchase of five crops — moong dal, urad dal, tur dal, maize, and cotton — at MSP for a duration of five years through central agencies. However, the farmers rejected the offer and returned to their protest sites.

(With inputs from agencies)

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