Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi: After failing to get any help from the Supreme Court, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre on Saturday yielded to the farmers' "tractor parade" on the outer ring road of Delhi encircling the national capital on the Republic Day to register their protest against three controversial farm laws enacted last September.

There is still no word from Delhi Police, but the protesting unions said the police have given nod to the tractor parade as yet another victory of the farmers in their fight for repeal of the farm laws. The protests that complete 60 days on Sunday came as a major factor for the police to agree that there will not be any kind of violence, the farmer leaders said, dismissing a man nabbed Friday night at one of the borders as an isolated incident, making the farmers more alert to ensure peace.

Meanwhile, some 30 farmer unions, who are part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, on Saturday discussed the government's offer, in a gathering in Singhu border, to suspend the laws for 12-18 months, but they remained firm that they shall not be able to mobilise the farmers if they are asked to go back until the three laws are repealed as holding them is a temporary solution not acceptable to them.

The Supreme Court refused to intervene saying it is the issue to be decided by police and six days of talks by the senior officers of Delhi police resulted in an agreement reached Saturday evening to allow the tractors to move on the outer ring road, after the farmer leaders assured the show will be totally peaceful.

Police agreed to remove the barricades put on the borders to prevent the agitating farmers from entering the Capital on January 26, but only in the afternoon after the official Republic Day parade is over in the central vista of New Delhi.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav announced that they have received the police nod on the final route and the exact route of their tractor parade will be decided before Sunday morning. They said the tractor parades will start from three protest points at Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders. "We are working out details of the route with the police," Pal said, adding that police have agreed to remove the barricades for the smooth rollout of the farmers' parade.

"Farmers will take out 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' (Farmer Republic Parade) on January 26. Barricades will be opened and we will enter Delhi. We (farmers and Delhi Police) have reached an agreement on the route, final details are to be worked out tonight," Yadav said. "We will take out a historical and peaceful parade and it will have no effect on the Republic Day parade or the security arrangements."

The details will be finalised Saturday night, said farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar, after attending a meeting between the unions and the police. He said this would be the farmers' show that they would not yield until the government agrees to repeal the three laws. Another farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said thousands of farmers on their way from various states to join the parade and hence there will not be a single route.

All leaders appealed to the farmers participating in the parade to maintain discipline and follow instructions of the committee.

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Free Press Journal