New posters put up by Delhi Police at Tikri ask protesters to disperse
Hoardings put up by Delhi Police at the Tikri border have led to discomfiture among protesters and farm leaders. Titled ‘statutory warning’, these have text in Hindi and Punjabi which reads: “Your gathering has been deemed illegal. You are being warned to disperse, otherwise legal action will be taken against you.”
Sudhanshu Dhama, Additional DCP (Outer), said the boards were placed after the January 26 violence.
“We are not taking any action against them. We put the boards at various junctions for protesters as a precautionary measure after the violence near the border. In case the farmers breach the law again, they should know it’s illegal.”
Shingara Singh Mann, senior vice-president of BKU Ugrahan, told The Indian Express: “I spotted this notice around 5 pm near Tikri border, close to the spot where naka of Delhi Police can be seen. It is on the pillar of the National Highway; it may be at other locations as well. However, we aren’t bothered; farmers are firm and we will not budge. Our dharnas will remain until the laws are repealed.”
He added, “The notice came up after Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar said ‘a crowd gathering doesn’t lead to revocation of laws’. It is really surprising that he did 12 meetings with this crowd and even congratulated us for maintaining peace and keeping this dharna apolitical. He used to call it ‘Kisan Andolan’ during our meetings and now we are a crowd.”
Dr Dashan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union and member of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, said, “We strongly condemn such actions. Farmers are protesting in a peaceful manner at the borders for 90 days and we will continue to protest till our demands are met. We are not even sitting inside Delhi.”
At Tikri Border on Tuesday, farmers continued their protest as usual, under the shadow of police deployment.
Anil Malik, a farmer, said, “They already tried this in Ghazipur but it backfired. I don’t think they will try anything here even if one farmer is sitting, and we aren’t going anywhere. If there is any hint there can be police action, more people will come to join us.”
Sukhdayal Singh from Mansa, Punjab, said: “In a month the harvest season will be upon us, we have thought of how to continue the protest here with people coming and going in batches so that work is not affected.”