Till March 12 Before Farmers March…
On Monday, 12 February 2024, Police said, large gatherings have been banned across Delhi for a month - till March 12 - ahead of a protest by farmers starting Tuesday.
Over 200 farmer unions, nearly 20,000 farmers altogether - are expected to converge on the national capital, in a potential replay of the violent protests in 2020/21 over "black" farm laws passed (and then scrapped) by the central government.
Orders have been in force in the northeast districts since Saturday - after farmers, who are expected to roll in 200 tractors - from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab launched the protest.
The farmers have multiple demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee minimum support price, or MSP, for their crops.
Legal assurances for the MSP scheme were part of the protests four years ago, which were called off after the government reached a deal with thermers.
The other demands are the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pensions for farmers and labourers, waiving of farm debts, and withdrawal of police cases filed during the 2020/21 protests.
The farmers also want justice for those killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri.
The order banning gatherings - under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code - issued by Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora this morning also bans entry of tractors into Delhi, and there is a complete ban on carrying guns and combustible substances, as well as makeshift weapons like bricks and stones, and the collection of petrol cans. Loudspeakers are also banned.