Delhi Police refuse to permit farmers to protest outside Parliament as talks remain futile

Police suggested that the protest be held at an alternative location such as near the Yamuna but the farmers didn’t agree. Farmers plan to come in groups of 200 from different states to protest against the farm laws.

The Delhi Police have refused to permit farmers from the Singhu border to hold protests outside the Parliament building, said officials on Monday.

A Delhi Police spokesperson said several meetings were held with farmer leaders near the Singhu border but there was no “settlement”. While the police said the protest outside the Parliament would violate Covid norms and also be a “threat” to security, the farmers have decided to hold a sit-in protest outside Parliament every day from July 22 till the end of the monsoon session.

In the meeting, police also suggested that the protests be held at an alternative location such as near the Yamuna but the farmers didn’t agree. The Delhi Police have now increased deployment near the Singhu border, the New Delhi district and even Red Fort. Farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws at Delhi borders for over eight months now.

On Sunday, a nine-member coordination committee of Samyukt Kisan Morcha met five senior police officers and discussed the routes and plans for the protest.

In a note released by SKM, leaders said, “Protests will be undertaken on each working day of the Parliament by contingents of 200 farmers from different states. The lists of farmers who will join these protests are being prepared and will be shared with the police. We also assured them (police) that the farmers’ movement has no plans of gherao/laying siege to the Parliament or forcibly entering it.”

Police said they can’t allow 200 farmers to protest near the Parliament and asked farmers to reduce the numbers but they refused to alter their plans. They have also asked Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to close seven metro stations in New Delhi, if needed and keep extra vigil at Janpath, Lok Kalyan Marg, Patel Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat, Mandi House and Udyog Bhawan from Monday till the protests get over.

Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) said, “Our protests will begin from Thursday onwards for all days of the monsoon session. In our meeting with the police, they told us that we need to reduce the number of people and they won’t allow us near the parliament. We have told them to give us a place outside the Parliament whether it’s Jantar Mantar or another area. Two hundred is already a very low number.”

Police said they can’t allow the farmers near Jantar Mantar as well and are trying to suggest alternative venues.

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