Lucknow: There will be heavy deployment of security personnel in Muzaffarnagar district of Western Uttar Pradesh, where farmers from across the country have reached to participate in ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat scheduled to be held on Sunday, on issues concerning farmers, including the three contentious Central farm laws, legal guarantee for MSP, payment of cane arrears among other things. The call for the Mahapanchayat has been given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of over 40 farmers unions, which is spearheading the farmers movement since the past nine months.
Six companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) will be deployed for the ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ to assist the local police.
Deputy inspector general of police (DIG), Saharanpur range, Preetinder Singh, said on Saturday that the event will be videographed while five SSPs, seven ASPs and 40 police inspectors will be posted on security duty.
Meanwhile, around 250 CCTV cameras and drones were being set up by the administration to keep an eye on the venue of Mahapanchayat and on its route through the adjoining districts.
Additional director general (ADG) of Meerut zone, Rajeev Sabharwal, said that senior officials have been deputed in Muzaffarnagar and also in adjacent districts, including Meerut, Baghpat, Shamli and Saharanpur to monitor security arrangements.
“Since farmers from neighbouring states are coming to participate in the Mahapanchayat and pass through these districts to reach the venue, senior officials have been deputed and necessary arrangements are being made to keep a close watch on security arrangements,” the ADG said.
Sabharwal, along with SSP Abhishek Yadav, and other officials visited the venue on Staurday to review the security arrangements.
Meanwhile, a leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) -- a key organiser of the event, told NewsClick that farmers were not afraid of the security deployment, adding that “no hurdle is difficult enough for them to give up their fight.”
“The farmers are very enthusiastic for tomorrow’s Mahapanchayat and it surely going to be historic event. As far heavy security is concerned, the administration and government probably received intelligence inputs that a huge number of farmers will be participating. Therefore, they are deploying PAC and RAF to maintain law and order,” Meraj Uddin Ahmed, senior Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader told NewsClick.
He said there was enthusiasm among “farmers and even labourers of at least 20 villages, who are ready to reach Muzaffarnagar to participate in the Mahapanchayat. They have not been told by any farmers’ leaders to join. They are angry since farmers have been protesting for the past nine months and are being not heard by the government,” the RLD leader said.
Echoing similar views, BKU media-in charge Dharmendra Malik, who is among the key organisers of the event, said: “Around 5,000 volunteers have been given identity cards, deputed at different places to ensure smooth movement so farmers coming from across the country can reach at venue without any difficulties. The volunteers also have been briefed and an emergency number has been shared,” he said in a press release.
“All arrangements have been made. We will have to see who all are able to reach the main site. We have arranged 12-14 screens on four-five fields for those who are unable to reach there due to the crowd. Roads and parking areas will be jammed,” BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said.
Tikait, a prominent face of the farmers’ movement along with Yogendra Yadav of SKM had announced the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat in the state capital Lucknow while launching the “Mission UP.
Read Also: 'Mission UP': Farmers to Campaign Against BJP in Upcoming Polls).
Tikait had said that the ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ was being convened to protest the three agricultural farm laws and to draw a roadmap for SKM’s “Mission UP”, ahead the Assembly elections in the state, scheduled to be held early next year.
Last week NewsClick had reported that preparations for the Mahapanchayat were going on a war footing Farmers of BKU and other unions had launched a campaign, in which they visited villages and also met people in person, asking them to participate the rally and explaining to them how the farm laws would affect their lives. Several announcements from temples, mosques and gurdwaras were made, calling upon people to to join the Mahapanchayat and highlight the key issues that farmers have been facing.
Read Also: Farmers Campaigning on War Footing for ‘Historic’ Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar
From the ruling BJP government to the Opposition parties, all eyes are on the Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar. The general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) said this Mahapanchayat would give a new direction to the ongoing movement against agricultural laws. In this congregation, apart from UP, farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan will be particiapting.
The gathering of farmers at GIC ground on Sunday will mark the beginning of “campaign mode” against the ruling BJP government that is “adamant”, say the farmers.
BKU general secretary and member of Kisan Morcha, Yudhvir Singh, said that issues such as the Central farm laws, sugarcane support price and expensive power supply would be discussed in the Mahapanchayat.
(inputs from PTI)