Ahead of the farmers call to march up to the Parliament House during the ongoing monsoon session to stage a protest against the three farm laws on Thursday, the Delhi police have beefed up the deployment of forces at the Singhu border.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday gave permission to farmers to stage demonstrations at Jantar Mantar demanding scrapping of the agri laws during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament. They said farmers will travel to Jantar Mantar from the Singhu border in buses with police escort.
At least 2,500 Delhi police officials along with 3,000 paramilitary personnel will remain deployed alone at the Singhu border on Thursday. Apart from this, anti-riot force, water cannons and tear gas are on standby to make all efforts to stop the anti-social elements get into the march from crossing over into Delhi forcefully, similar to what happened on Republic Day this year.
The police had officially not given any permission to the farmers to enter Delhi and gather near the Parliament House. Instead, the police have advised them to reconsider their protest plan because of the Covid guidelines. The farmers told the police that every day, till the end of the monsoon session, 200 farmers will reach Jantar Mantar to stage a protest from 11 am to 5 pm against the three farm laws.
Farmers said that each of these 200 farmers to carry identity cards and reach Delhi in buses escorted by the police.
However, taking lessons from the incidents on January 26 this year, the police have made their arrangements.
“All arrangements are being made to ensure that R Day ruckus is not repeated. We have heavily barricaded the area. Apart from the main highway, all routes leading to Delhi are under surveillance and are being monitored round the clock. We have adequate deployment, drones are being used to keep watch from the aerial view and anti-riot force is also on standby," said a senior police officer aware of the arrangements.
Police officers said as per the existing Covid guidelines of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), no permission for large gatherings can be given.
Another senior officer said that talks are still underway. “Even though we are prepared to handle any situation, we are still talking to the farmer leaders to find a middle way so that things remain peaceful and no law-and-order situation arises," the officer said, wishing not to be named.