Monday, Nov 28, 2022
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Kisan Mahapanchayat: Why Farmers Are Protesting In Delhi Again

Security was beefed up at Delhi borders, including Singhu and Ghazipur, ahead of the demonstration called by farmers' body.  Police are checking all vehicles entering the capital and security personnel are on 'alert mode'.

Farmers' protests
Farmers' protests PTI

Over eight months after the massive farmers' protests against three contentious farm laws disbanded after the Centre decided to pull back the legislation, farmers organizations have once again taken to the streets in protests and called for a 'mahapanchayat' at Jantar Mantar in the national capital on Monday.

Security was beefed up at Delhi borders, including Singhu and Ghazipur, ahead of the demonstration called by farmers' body.  Police are checking all vehicles entering the capital and security personnel are on 'alert mode'.

Farmers' 'mahapanchayat' - why farmers are protesting again

The 'Mahapanchayat' has been called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) and other farmers' groups and is expected to see participation from hundreds of farmers from different states who have started arriving in Delhi amid heavy security arrangements. 

"The mahapanchayat is a one-day-long peaceful event where we will reiterate our demands such as a legal guarantee on MSP and cancellation of Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 among others," said Abhimanyu Singh Kohar, SKM (non-political) member and organiser of the 'mahapanchayat'. He, however, added that the police is yet to give permission for the 'mahapanchayat' at Jantar Mantar.

SKM Leaders claimed at some locations, farmers were being stopped from reaching Jantar Mantar, a claim denied by the Delhi Police.
The protest comes a day after farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and a prominent face of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), was detained by the Delhi Police at the Ghazipur border on Sunday while he was trying to enter the capital to take part in an unemployment protest organised by farmers at Jantar Mantar on Sunday. The protest named 'Rozgar Sansad' (employment parliament) was organised by the Samyukt Rojgar Andolan Samiti and saw participation from several farmer leaders and organisations.

Speaking on why farmers are protesting, the SKM leader Kohar said that earlier during the farmers' movement, the central government had promised to consider all our demands but they did "nothing". "So here we are again to discuss and raise our demands and chalk out future strategy of the movement," Kohar said.

Farmers' protests - What happened in 2020?

In November 2020, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh had camped at border points around Delhi against Centre's three farm laws, which were repealed a year later. 

The farmers had suspended their movement in December last year after the Centre assured them to consider their other demands concerning legal guarantee on MSP, withdrawal of cases against them among others.

Security beefed up

In view of the farmers demonstrations, security has been beefed up and several farmer leaders including Kohar have alleged that farmers are being stopped from entering the national capital. Kohar said farmers coming from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were stopped last night and not allowed to reach Jantar Mantar. They were taken to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Rakabganj and Moti Bagh and later released, he said. 

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dependra Pathak said, "We have made adequate arrangements to ensure that the law and order is maintained and there is no loss of life and property." According to the police, extra barricades have been put up at Jantar Mantar along with heavy police deployment. 

Anyone trying to gain entry will be checked thoroughly to avoid any undue gathering which may give rise any untoward situation, police said.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda said, "Personnel usually remain deployed at Jantar Mantar but on Monday, we have deployed additional force in view of the 'mahapanchayat'." 

Traffic movement may be affected in many parts of Delhi as the police have put barricades at border points, officials said.

In a tweet, police asked motorists to avoid Tolstoy Marg, Sansad Marg, Janpath Road, Ashoka Road, Outer Circle Connaught Place, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Pandit Pant Marg due to farmers' congregation. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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