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DDMA rules eased for farmers' protest as Delhi Police gear up

DDMA rules eased for farmers protest as Delhi Police gear up
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New delhi: After an intense round of three meetings between the Delhi Police and protesting farmer unions, the city police here on Wednesday finally agreed to let the farmers protest at Jantar Mantar here in a controlled capacity — in tandem with the Monsoon Session — against the three new farm laws brought in by the Union government.

After being assured by the 9-member delegation from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha — the umbrella under which farm unions have gathered — the Delhi Police had decided to apply for a relaxation of rules in the Covid curbs as put in place by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

Even during the meetings, the Delhi Police had repeatedly warned them of the DDMA rules prohibiting protests. But on Wednesday, Delhi Chief Secretary informed the Delhi Police that L-G Anil Baijal as the de-facto Chairperson of the DDMA had approved the relaxation in rules to allow the protest.

"The farmers can protest from Thursday onwards daily between 11 am and 5 pm till 9 August, subject to the participation of a maximum of 200 protesters per day and following Covid-19 protocols," the DDMA's communication to the police read.

The order further reads, "They would be conveyed by designated buses and six members of one separate group by a designated SUV on a given route under police escort subject to strict observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour."

On Wednesday's morning, after the last meeting with farmers, Commissioner Balaji Srivastava and other senior officers reached Jantar Mantar to check security measures and the officials were asked to ensure a full security plan.

This time too, the Delhi Police have taken an undertaking from the SKM, that their protests would be peaceful and only conducted in accordance with the DDMA's approval.

"They have been permitted to protest at Jantar Mantar with limited numbers not exceeding 200 persons for SKM and six persons for KMSC from 1100 hrs up to 1700 hrs daily," police said in their statement.

Police said they will escort protesters to the designated location from the Singhu border in buses every day. "They have been advised to observe Covid appropriate behaviour and social distancing. They have also been advised not to take out any march given Covid restrictions," the official said.

Delhi Police have put in place extensive arrangements to ensure that the protest remains peaceful.

Sources have told Millennium Post that all officers, be it in the Cells or in Branches are to be on standby with their Khaki from 8 am onwards. Off duty staff have also been told to be close to easy transport and on stand by. In addition, all officers in the Security Unit have been directed to not switch off their phones for the duration of the protests.

Cops in charge of Kot, equipment, general stores should ensure that they are distributing anti-riot gear appropriately.

"The PSOs shall also ensure easy access to all PPs in Parliament and two companies with anti-riot gear should be in ready position," one DCP added.

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