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'Democratic Protest Can be Allowed But No One Can Break Law': Delhi Police Commissioner on Farmers’ Parliament March

Asthana pointed out that during the last session too small groups of farmers were allowed to assemble at Jantar Mantar and carry on with their Kisan Sansad. (PTI File)

Asthana pointed out that during the last session too small groups of farmers were allowed to assemble at Jantar Mantar and carry on with their Kisan Sansad. (PTI File)

Rakesh Asthana, however, remained non-committal when asked if any back-channel talks were on with farmer groups to defuse the situation.

Amidst the continued agitation by farmer groups even after the Union Cabinet approved the repeal of the three farm laws, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana has said that while democratic protests are allowed maintaining law and order will be the priority of the police. The remark comes even as Samyukta Kisan Morcha threatened to march to the Parliament House during the winter session.

SKM after its meeting on Sunday at Delhi’s Singhu border had given a call to march on November 29.

Asthana when asked if such a move would be allowed said, “We are committed to maintaining law and order".

Asthana pointed out that during the last session too small groups of farmers were allowed to assemble at Jantar Mantar and carry on with their Kisan Sansad. “Democratic protest can be allowed but no one will be allowed to break the law," he told a group of women journalists at the Indian Women Press Corps.

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The top officer of Delhi police, however, remained non-committal when asked if any back-channel talks were on with farmer groups to defuse the situation.

Farmers have refused to end their agitation even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to repeal the three farm laws and the Cabinet approved it.

In a fresh letter to the PM, SKM has demanded action and resignation of MoS Home Ajay Mishra Teni in connection with the Lakhimpur case, legal guarantee for MSP, compensation for farmer families who died in the agitation and withdrawal of all cases against farmers.

The Delhi Police Commissioner also remained non committal on the issue of withdrawing cases. “Agitation has been going on for some time now. Before my joining (as CP), cases like Red Fort were registered. We have investigated and charge-sheeted them, the matter is now in court," he said.

The SKM could meet again on Saturday to decide its next course of action.

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first published:November 25, 2021, 11:57 IST