Cops say no to tractors, farmers threaten to shut roads

Police say no to tractors, farmers threaten to shut roads

Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said permission had not been granted for such a rally.

Farmers 'Movement as part of the Republic Day Parade in Delhi - Karnataka and Karnataka State Farmers' Union and Green Army Members held a bike rally at Jayadeva circle. Credit: Prajavani Photo

The farmers’ association has threatened that they would block highways connecting the city if their tractors are stopped midway to the capital and they are prevented from participating in the rally on Republic Day.

The warning came even as City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said permission had not been granted for such a rally.

“No permission has been given to use tractors in a rally during any protests in the past. And we have not given permission for Tuesday’s rally also,” Pant said on Monday.

Briefing the press on the security measures for Republic Day, he said some associations had submitted memorandums seeking permission to stage a protest at Freedom Park. Some others have sought permission to enter the city in a rally to protest at Freedom Park. However, they have not said anything on how they will arrive. “We are looking into their requests,” he said.

“There is no objection to farmers coming in cars, jeeps or buses to participate in the protest. However, we have not allowed anyone to bring tractors,” Pant added.

The commissioner said that tight security arrangements had been made for the Republic Day event at Manekshaw Parade Ground. “More than 1,000 personnel have been deployed. As some associations have spoken about staging a protest, we will decide on scaling up the security based on the situation,” he said.

Meanwhile, farmers said that stopping their tractors on road would lead to blockage of the state and national highways connecting Bengaluru.

“We will shut down the state and national highways if we are not allowed to enter the city on tractors,” said Kuruburu Shanthakumar, president, Karnataka Sugarcane Growers’ Association.

He reiterated that the farmers will not disturb the Republic Day event in any way.

'No approval needed' 

“They will come on their tractors, bikes and private vehicles to take part in the protest. The tractor rally here is being held in support of the rally in Delhi. We don’t need a stamp of approval from the police for it. The government should not try to stop the farmers,” he said.

Replying to a question, Shanthakumar said the farmers had not sought the support of politicians. “If they want, they can launch separate protests. They are not allowed to share the stage with us on Tuesday,” he said.

BoX 

Brace for traffic disruptions today

As farmers from across the state are expected to descend on Bengaluru on Tuesday, traffic on roads from all directions is expected to be disrupted till late evening.

Mysuru Road and Magadi Road are expected to see huge number of farmers from Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu.

These farmers are set to begin a rally from Sumanahalli Circle on Magadi Road and arrive at Nayandahalli Junction from where they will proceed towards Freedom Mark via Mysuru Road.

Many Dalit associations, labour unions and women’s organisations are expected to take part in the rally.

Tumakuru Road is expected to see traffic snarls from Nelamangala as farmers from north Karnataka will arrive via Chitradurga and Tumakuru. Many others are coming from Chikkaballapur and Kolar.