New Delhi: The planned tractor rally on 26 January by farmer groups will be allowed only on a “curated route”, with a limited number of tractors and participants, and under “police supervision”. In case the farmers do not agree with the plan and try to cross the police blockade at the borders, the police will “push back with full force”.
This is what the Delhi Police has planned for the upcoming rally called by farmers protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws.
“The rally will be allowed only if there is a mutual consensus on the route, number of tractors and people on it. In order to maintain law and order, the number of tractors entering the border will be limited and its details including vehicle number, RC details, names of drivers, and co-passengers will be submitted to the police well in advance,” a police source said.
“It has to be a regulated rally and farmers must agree to it. Random tractors will not be allowed to enter the rally. In case the farmers try to march in, the police will push back with full strength,” the source added.
The Supreme Court had Monday said the Delhi Police should decide on the entry of protesting farmers into the national capital on Republic Day. The court was hearing a plea by the central government, filed through the Delhi Police, seeking an injunction against the proposed rally or any other kind of protest by farmers that seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations on January 26.
Stating that it is a law and order matter, the court said police is the “first authority to decide who should be allowed to enter Delhi”.
“We are not going to tell you what you should do. We will take up this matter on Jan 20,” the court said.
Rally should be held in a ‘cordial way’
The Delhi Police is also holding talks with the farmer groups on how the rally should be held in a “cordial way”.
“There has to be a consensus to do the rally cordially. If they agree on regulating it, our pilot car will escort the tractors on the route that is decided and it will be smooth. We will open the border for them,” the source quoted above said.
“Before a decision is taken, the farmers will have to assure us that only a limited number of them will join the rally and they will not go and create a block at a new place. No one is stopping them from a rally, just that it has to be completely regulated,” the source added.
BKU (Sidhupur) president Jagjit Singh Dalewal, however, said it will be difficult to “limit the number of participants”.
“We have told the police that our tractors will enter from the Singhu border and go on across the outer Ring Road. We want it to be cordial, but if they tell us only a few tractors will be allowed, it will not serve the purpose. There is a lot of support and there are too many participants. It will also be difficult to give them details of all drivers, vehicle numbers,” he said.
“We are talking to the police and hope to reach a consensus on this soon,” he added.