The Delhi Police on Sunday granted the protesting farmers the permission to carry out their tractor rally on Republic Day.
The Delhi Police said, “Protesting farmers can enter Delhi but can’t disturb the Republic Day parade.” The police said that the tractor rally by the farmers protesting against the farm laws will begin after the parade on Rajpath is concluded.
The farmers, who are protesting against the three contentious farm laws are sitting on protest outside Delhi borders for nearly two months, will have to enter Delhi for their tractor rally from the Ring Road.
The Delhi Police and the farmers’ unions have had two rounds of meeting on Saturday after which the Delhi Police granted the permission. The farmers have said that the tractor rally will be peaceful and it will move along a road encircling the city.
The police said the permission was granted to show respect to the farmers’ demand. “They can enter Delhi for few kilometres and then exit,” said the police. The number of tractors participating has not been decided and the rally will start after the Republic Day programme would end which is around 11.30 am.
The police have made elaborate security arrangements for the tractor rally. The police said that their personnel who will be deployed for the Republic Day parade will have to be ready for further deployment on short notice.
The centre had opposed the tractor rally on Republic Day and had appealed to the Supreme Court to stop it saying that it would be an ‘embarrassment for the nation’. The top court, however, left the decision to Delhi Police saying that it is a ‘law and order matter.’
The apex court had earlier upheld the farmers’ constitutional right to hold a peaceful protest.
Thousands of farmers who have been protesting at Delhi borders for over two months decided to hold the tractor rally after negotiations with the government failed to resolve the deadlock.
In the last round of discussions, the government had offered to put the three farm laws on hold for 18 months which was rejected by the farmers who want the government to repeal the farm laws. They have also rejected the SC appointed four-member panel saying that the members have been in support of the laws.
The farmers want the laws repealed and new legislation to guarantee the continuation of the minimum support prices (MSP).
The government has said that it would not repeal the laws