Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 20
Delhi Police may allow protesting farmers to hold their planned tractor rally in the National Capital on January 26, but on the “pre-identified and sanitised” routes with a limited number of participants and under “strict police supervision”, said sources.
Sources in the Delhi Police said the officials are in talks with the protesting farmers and trying to convince them with the plan given the sensitivity of the day (January 26). But in case the farmers do not adhere to the plan and try to breach the blockade at the borders, the police will use all its might to push them back, they added.
The sources further said that the permission for the proposed rally could only be granted if there is a “mutual consensus” on the route, number of persons and number of tractors. “We would like to have in advance details of participating farmers including vehicle number, RC details, names of drivers, and co-passengers,” said a senior police officer.
As the Delhi Police had approached Supreme Court to seek instructions against the proposed rally or any other kind of protest by farmers, the top court had said the Delhi Police is competent and should decide on its own on the entry of protesting farmers into the national capital on Republic Day.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has made an elaborate arrangement to guard the national capital in the run-up and on the Republic Day this year. Nearly 75 per cent (more than 65,000) of the city’s 87,000 police personnel could continue to be on duty, supported by heavy barricading at many intersections and checkpoints on arterial roads, said a senior official.
“The iron barricading at the borders is being strengthened, and a number of large vehicles, water cannons and cranes will also be stationed there on Republic Day. The police have identified non-functional CCTV cameras in order to replace them,” he said, adding that recently an order has also been issued to ban the operation of “sub-conventional aerial platforms”, including UAVs, paragliders and hot air balloons, in the national capital for 27 days beginning January 20.
The Delhi Police has also asked the MHA for additional manpower in terms of CAPFs reinforcement, as work on the listing of deployment is being undertaken at Police headquarters to bring about a surprise for protesting farmers, the official said.