Won’t alter R-Day rally route, unions tell cops

Talks with Centre today | Amit Shah reviews security

Mukesh Tandon

Tribune News Service

Singhu, January 19

Ahead of their tenth round of negotiations with the government over the contentious farm laws tomorrow, the protesting farmers’ unions today turned down a Delhi Police proposal to alter their tractor rally route on Republic Day.

Citing traffic constraints and law and order issues, the Delhi Police, which had met the farmers yesterday too, asked the unions to shift the route from Outer Ring Road to an alternative road in the Capital. They also sought details on how many protesters and tractors would be part of the January 26 march.

A joint team of the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Police met the leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 unions, at a private resort in Singhu.

The development came a day after the Supreme Court refused to halt the tractor rally saying it was up to the Delhi Police to decide who would enter the Capital. BKU (Dakaunda) leader Jagmohan Singh Patiala said they would not compromise on the route.

“We assured the police team of cooperation in organising a peaceful ‘tractor parade’,” he maintained.

The Delhi Police, meanwhile, moved to fortify the Capital by deploying over 65,000 of its personnel and seeking additional reinforcements of the Central Armed Police Forces. Union Home Minister Amit Shah took stock of the situation at a meeting with the Delhi Police brass.

As the Delhi Police comes under the MHA, Shah visited the police headquarters here and held a high-level review meeting with Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, IB Director Arvind Kumar, Commissioner of Police SN Srivastava and other senior officials.

Heavy barricading at several intersections and checkpoints on arterial roads were part of the plan, said a senior police official.

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