Millennium Post
Delhi

Hundreds of tractors reach borders as cops fail to persuade farmers

Hundreds of tractors reach borders as cops fail to persuade farmers
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New Delhi: Thousands of people from Maharashtra and other states on Thursday reached the Singhu border here with hundreds of tractors to join their fellows for the Republic Day tractor march, for which the Delhi Police is yet to issue permits.

Meanwhile, farmer leaders held long meetings with senior police officers of the city police as they kept convincing the agitating agrarians to hold their march outside the Capital.

Sources in the Delhi Police have said meetings from January 22 onwards will be crucial as Republic Day is nearing and they hope that things will be sorted out. They, however, maintained that the Delhi Police is clear on their stand and will continue to persuade farmers to hold their march outside the city.

The farmers first reached the Shahjahanpur border on January 15 and have been protesting there. The farmers will showcase their jhankis on tractors during the January 26 rally.

"If they enter Delhi first of all there will be serious traffic issues and also there are various groups and if they started moving to different areas in the city, then it can create law and order issues. They have asked to perform their tractor march outside the city," a police source said.

From the Delhi Police, senior officials engaging with farmers include Special CP and Joint CP level officers.

Smita Deshmukh who is a member of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha and hails from a small village in Maharashtra is a tribal farmer. Deshmukh said that she along with other farmers had come here to extend her solidarity to farmers from other

states.

"We live at the borders of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. We are tribal farmers and have been fighting for our forest land. No matter where the farmers are from Punjab or Haryana or Maharashtra a farmer is a farmer. All the struggles are our struggles so we have come to give our support here," she said.

The farmers said that they grow crops only during the monsoon season as there are no other facilities provided to them. "It's a mountainous region and for four-five months we live in villages and then we migrate for work. We grow Jowar, rice and Mecca and we grow local grains," she said.

The farmer said that there is no development in their villages, while something as basic as electricity has reached the villages a while back.

Meanwhile, many tractors have already reached the border in preparations and have been parked at the protest site. The huge tractors have been kept inside the trolleys.

Even though the farmers have not been given permission to take out the tractor march, they are determined to go ahead with it.

Farmers of Bilaspur and Rampur in Uttarakhand are preparing for the farmers' parade in Delhi by organising tractor march. "Farmers in Chhattisgarh will march towards the Raj Bhavan on January 23 and a group of farmers will also leave for Delhi," the farmer leaders said.

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