Farmers’ protest in Delhi: Intel agencies issue alert, US asks citizens to be cautious | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: While farmers’ organisations have been permitted to move 200 of their members protesting at Delhi’s borders to Jantar Mantar from Thursday till August 9, intelligence agencies have issued alerts about the Khalistani organisation, Sikhs For Justice, provoking people to reach Delhi with the kesri flag and kirpans and “capture” Parliament and about more protesters arriving in the capital by trains.
The farmers, protesting against three agrarian laws since November last year, plan to hold a Kisan Sansad at Jantar Mantar coinciding with the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, complete with a ‘speaker’ and ‘deputy speaker’ every day to oversee discussions on agricultural issues.

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At a time when public gatherings are being disallowed to prevent spread of the virus, it is unfortunate that a separate yardstick seems to apply to the farmers. Delhi Police should have refused permission. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that politics has determined its stance. We hope that the city will not witness the kind of unruly scenes it did on an earlier occasion.

Intelligence agencies pointed out that in a video, designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun asks his followers and the agitating farmers to “break the country”. Pannun also asks them not to hold up the Indian flag during the protests this time. The new video had security agencies on high alert because of the reach and influence Pannun exerts on his followers. The agencies said they were taking all steps to prevent a situation of the sort that took place on January 26, when violence broke out after the protesters were allowed a tractor rally into the city.
On that occasion too, Pannun had made a similar appeal which was heard playing out at Red Fort, leading Delhi Police’s Special Cell to file an FIR. Sikhs for Justice and Pannun’s appeal are also mentioned in the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police in the Red Fort rioting case.
Meanwhile, the United States issued a security alert for its citizens in India on Wednesday. While asking them to take steps for their own safety in view of the farmers’ protest, it also advised them to avoid sensitive areas like Parliament House, crowds, demonstrations and to monitor local media for news updates. In a statement, the US embassy said, “We are aware of media reports of possible demonstrations in and around New Delhi on July 21 and 22 by farmers and counter-protesters. Previous such protests have sometimes led to violence.”
Noting that the likelihood and location of actual protests were unknown, the embassy said that the farmers’ unions had requested permission for 200 protesters to walk to Parliament to protest the new farm laws. There could be more police on the streets, additional checkpoints and an unknown number of demonstrators in and around Delhi, the statement cautioned.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions, will bring around 200 farmers to Jantar Mantar every day from Thursday for the fortnight-long protest.

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