Farmers conquer Delhi, still in search of final destination

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Police personnel manning barricades during Delhi Chalo Protest in Bhatinda (File Photo, Image credit: Shutterstock)
Police personnel manning barricades during Delhi Chalo Protest in Bhatinda (File Photo, Image credit: Shutterstock)

After the Haryana Police, its counterpart in Delhi buckled under the pressure of massive invasion of farmers from all sides, especially Punjab. The government appears to have gone on the back foot as the number of farmers who turned up far exceeded the expectations of the organisers themselves.

On Friday evening Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, appealed to the farmers to give up their agitation keeping in mind the spurt in corona virus cases. He reiterated that the government is ready to talk to them on Dec 3.

The minister’s announcement followed a period of confusion before the The Delhi Police Commissioner on Friday afternoon allowed the farmers to gather at Nirankari Ground in Burari.

Early in the day about 500 farmers’ organizations wrote to the Prime Minister seeking permission to enter Delhi, be allowed to assemble in Ram Lila Ground and hold talks at the highest level.

The Union government agreed to the first two demands. However, instead of Ram Lila Ground, the farmers were allotted Nirankari Ground, which too is fairly large and can accommodate about two lakh people.

The farmers, who actually left their homes on Nov 25, finally managed to succeed a day later—instead of Nov 26 they reached the national capital on Nov 27 evening. But there are still a large number of farmers who are sitting on the highways on the Delhi-Haryana border on the plea that they should either be allowed to gather at Ram Lila or Jantar Mantar, where according to them the political parties are allowed to protest.  

As the farmers appear to be in two minds on the issue whether to enter Burari or not, their leadership is planning the future course of action. The mood of the farmers can be gauged from the fact that even on Friday morning a large number of them started their Delhi Chalo or March to Delhi from as far as Amritsar.

In the National Capital, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee has set up langars at different gurudwaras to make fooding arrangements. Meanwhile the Aam Aadmi Party has strongly criticized the Delhi Police’s move to convert nine stadiums into temporary jails. The party which is also making arrangements for fooding and lodging said that farmers should not be treated as terrorists. On the other hand, the arrangement of foods has also been done in 25 Mosques of Delhi.

In the meantime Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has extended support for farmers and said that the government should immediately repeal the three farm laws.

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