Delhi Police has not encountered anything like this before. The end of the truncated
Republic Day parade this year around noon will not lead to any lowering of vigil. Long after the VIPs have gone home and Rajpath is cleared out, the force will still be out on the streets, monitoring and keeping a wary eye on the ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ or what has come to be known as the
tractor rally looping around the capital. It will start around noon and may continue till late in the evening till the
tractors return to their starting points on the city borders.
The event, being staged by the defiant farmers who have rebuffed all attempts by the Centre to negotiate a solution on the
farm laws, is being seen by Delhi Police as a huge security and law and order challenge. The cops are leaving nothing to chance and have imposed a series of conditions and restrictions on the organisers.
Reports of tractors arriving at the borders from the neighbouring states have been pouring in and no one can hazard a guess on the final figure. The police have tried to keep it under 20,000 with each border allowed to let in 5000 tractors and as many people between 12 pm and 5pm. Intelligence reports say containers carrying three-four tractors each have been moving on the national highways, headed for Delhi.
The part of the rally which originates at Singhu border will pass through Kanjhawala, Bawana, Auchandi border and KMP Expressway while the one at Tikri will pass through Nangloi, Najafgarh and Western Peripheral Expressway. Another stream from Ghazipur will pass through Apsara border and Hapur. All three will return to their originating points.
Delhi Police has prohibited any tractor with modifications or armour-like structures from joining the rally. “The organizers will need to ensure that no trolleys, bullock carts, rickshaws, hand-driven carts and animals like horses, elephants or camels are brought to the rally. Any other vehicles, including two-wheelers, JCBs, hydra, trolley or modified tractors with other attachments, are not permitted,” reads a letter to the organizers.
The organizers will need to deploy 2,500 volunteers on the approved routes. They should be easily identifiable with a distinctive outfit or identification mark and their contact details conveyed to the police.
They have also been asked to ensure that the entire carriageway of a road is not blocked and two-thirds of the space is kept free for traffic movement. This may not necessarily prevent disruption of traffic on Tuesday. The tractors need to keep moving and any dharna or demonstration en route to the rally will not be allowed.
No-objection certificates from the land-owning agencies apart from BSES, NDPL, Delhi Fire Service and other agencies have been made mandatory and will have to produced in original if any police officer asks for the documents. The names and mobile numbers of farmer leaders, who will be available during the rally for coordination, have been circulated.
Participants should not consume any intoxicating substance or drugs and indulge in disorderly conduct and the organizers have been made responsible for ensuring this. Legal action and withdrawal of permission will follow any violation. Also banned are acrobatics, display of martial arts and stunt driving. Use of firecrackers or any kind of combustible material has been prohibited as well.
“The above permission would be deemed to be invalid during any VIP movement or any other emergency. No weapons, such as firearms, swords, spear, mashaals and lathis, including religious symbols other than the permitted ones, shall be carried,” says the letter.
The organizers, police said, will need to make arrangements for drinking water, medical aid and fire-fighting equipment in consultation with the civic and other local bodies on the proposed routes of the rally.