Security Beefed up as Farmers to Protest Outside Indian Parliament for Revocation of Laws
07:32 GMT 19.07.2021 (Updated: 10:37 GMT 19.07.2022)
© AP Photo / Manish SwarupA statue of Mahatma Gandhi overlooks the Indian parliament building (File)
© AP Photo / Manish Swarup
Thousands of farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi since 26 November 2020, to demand a complete rollback of the three laws passed by the Indian Parliament in September. The agitated farmers have already blocked roads in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana states.
Delhi Police have increased security across the Indian capital, as agitated farmers who are pressing for the revocation of three farm laws are set to protest outside Parliament in the city.
The farmers have issued the call to surround and hold protests outside the Parliament, which started functioning on Monday for its Monsoon Session.
Speaking to Sputnik, a senior Delhi Police official said they have not allowed anyone to protest around the Parliament.
"One of the main reasons to deny permission to the farmers is the violence and ruckus created during the 26 January's 'Tractor March', besides the COVID-19 scare and security implications of the planned protest," the officer said on condition of anonymity.
Massive violence had been witnessed earlier this year on the country's Republic Day (26 January) at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi between protesting farmers and police.
© REUTERS / ADNAN ABIDIPolicemen in riot gear stand guard in front of the historic Red Fort after Tuesday's clashes between police and farmers, in the old quarters of Delhi, India, January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Policemen in riot gear stand guard in front of the historic Red Fort after Tuesday's clashes between police and farmers, in the old quarters of Delhi, India, January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
He added that the police suggested the farmers choose other sites for their protest, but they didn't agree.
"We are prepared for unlawful activities. Our teams are carrying out anti-riot drills across the city, while the Paramilitary Forces have been put on hold. We have increased the patrolling on the route heading to the parliament and even the border areas," he mentioned.
Apart from this, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has directed the authorities to put seven metro stations on alert.
The farmer unions are planning to intensify their eight-month-old movement by sending a 200-strong team of protesters to demonstrate by the Parliament House.
They are expected to stage a march from one of the protesting sites, Singhu Border, to Parliament, which is set to last until the ongoing session ends on 13 August.
The farmers' unions, however, have stated that it would be a peaceful protest.
Several farmer unions are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
According to the federal government, the laws allow farmers to sell their produce at places apart from their designated agricultural markets. The laws also aim at allowing contract farming under which they can enter into supply agreements with private firms for remunerative and pre-decided prices.
Farmers believe that the new laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system (MSP), leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.