At least 70,000 farmers from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana are expected to converge at Rajghat on Tuesday, October 2, to protest against the policies of the Narendra Modi government, and to remind it of its promises to farmers.
The Delhi Police on Monday imposed prohibitory orders in East Delhi in anticipation of the yatra’s arrival in Delhi, PTI reported. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code prohibits an assembly of five people or more in an area where it has been imposed. The orders will be in place till October 8, and will cover the areas of Preet Vihar, Shakarpur, Pandav Nagar, Jagatpuri, Kalyanpuri, Ghazipur, Mandawli, Madhu Vihar, Mayur Vihar, and New Ashok Nagar.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union-led Kranti Yatra, which started out on September 23 from Haridwar in Uttarakhand, reached Ghaziabad – the Uttar Pradesh town adjoining East Delhi – on Monday. The protestors are scheduled to submit a memorandum to the Centre listing their 21 demands, including implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, free electricity to farmers and waiver of farm loans.
“A large number of protestors are likely to come into Delhi from bordering areas of east district,” read the order issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Pankaj Singh. “This may create law and order situation and may disturb the peace and tranquillity and endanger human life or property in the area of east district.”
The order said the protestors will enter Delhi with hundreds of tractor-trolleys and private vehicles. The possibility of the protests being unruly cannot be ruled out, it added.
This rally is reminiscent of the 1988 farmers rally led by peasant leader Chaudhury Mahendra Singh Tikait, during which lakhs of farmers in tractors and trucks congregated at central Delhi’s Boat Club lawns and camped there for a week. This Kranti Yatra is being led by Naresh Tikait, one of the peasant leader’s sons. It started at Haridwar’s Baba Tikait ghat, named after the legendary leader.
Naresh Tikait accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of coming to power in 2014 by telling farmers that their income would be doubled. “But after grabbing power in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has forgotten its promises,” he told IANS. “So we have come to remind them of their promises.”