Farmers’ protests against the three agro laws imposed by the central government, which have been going on for months near the national capital’s borders, are poised to get a boost on Thursday. From today, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella group of protesting farm unions, will organise a series of demonstrations near Parliament in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
The farmers’ movement has been granted permission to conduct a rally at the site, but only 200 protestors will be allowed until August 9. Rakesh Tikait, the leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said that a total of 200 farmers under the SKM will travel to the Jantar Mantar on a bus every day, as permitted by Anil Baijal, the lieutenant-governor of Delhi.
Farmers who are protesting have also been requested to sign an affidavit stating that they will observe all Covid-19 rules and that the movement will be peaceful. During the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, the demonstrators would be confronted by significant security deployment in the vicinity.
Prior to the farmers’ demonstration at Jantar Mantar against the three agro legislation, police personnel were observed increasing security at the Singhu border near the national capital.
Protesting farmers have stated that if the monsoon session of Parliament ends on August 13, their demonstrations against the three agro legislation imposed by the national government will continue until that date. However, Delhi’s lieutenant governor, Anil Baijal, has only given the farmers until August 9 to continue their protests.
This is the first time since earlier this year’s violence during a tractor rally in the national capital on Republic Day, January 26, that authorities have allowed protesting farmers’ unions to stage demonstrations in the city.
Meanwhile, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait has urged authorities to restore highways near protest locations for the convenience of local residents, insisting that no farmer from the Ghazipur border will travel to Delhi “secretly” and will only protest at Jantar Mantar, which is permitted.
Hundreds of farmers have been camped at Delhi’s Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders since November 2020, demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be repealed and a new law enacted to ensure minimum prices.
The government, on the other hand, has maintained that the laws are pro-farmer after 11 rounds of formal negotiation with protestors.