Tractors head for Bengaluru; won’t let them in, say police | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The state capital appears set for a face-off on its roads on Republic Day as farmers said they would hold a rally of 10,000 tractor and other vehicles in solidarity with protesters in Delhi while police have barred the entry of tractors into Bengaluru.
“The parade will be held from Nelamangala to Bengaluru, with farmers arriving in more than 10,000 tractors and other vehicles. The parade will begin soon after the chief minister hoists the national flag (at Republic Day event),” leader of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Kodihalli Chandrashekhar said. Hundreds of farmers from Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu and Hassan have left for Bengaluru to take part in the tractor parade, they said.

“The protesters can come in vehicles like bus and cars but not tractors. We will not allow tractors to hit city roads,” Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said on Monday.
Will allow peaceful stir: Top cop
Asked if any organisation has approached police for permission, Pant said, “A couple of organisations approached us saying they will hold a peace rally in Freedom Park. We are ready to permit peaceful protests. The DCPs are in touch with the outfits and will take appropriate decisions.”
Farmer groups, backed by Dalit and labour organisations, said they will carry out the rally with or without permission from police. The rally is expected to reach Freedom Park through the main roads of the city via Yeshwanthpur and Malleswaram.
Karnataka State Sugarcane Farmers’ Association president Kurubur Shanthakumar said the first group of farmers has already left in vehicles with 50kg of rice, 40kg of vegetables, coconuts and medicine. “The second group is expected to leave by train,” he said.
“When farmers in New Delhi are given permission, why is the government is not allowing farmers in Karnataka to hold the rally? The government is using district police to stop farmers from moving towards Bengaluru. This is a matter of shame… (but) nothing can stop farmers from coming to Bengaluru,” said Gopal, a farmer leader.
Another farmer union member alleged that petrol bunks are denying diesel to tractors on the direction of the state government.
“If the government stops people from coming into Bengaluru, we will hold protests on roads blocking major highways leading to Bengaluru. If there is a law and order problem, it is the government’s responsibility,” said a KRRS functionary.
For over two months, farmers from Punjab and Haryana and other parts of the country have been protesting at various state borders — including Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan — demanding a repeal of the three agri-marketing laws.
CM BS Yediyurappa has appealed to the farmers to reconsider the rally. “Ours is a pro-farmer government and the laws being brought are in the interest of farmers. I appeal to them to drop the protest. And if they want to proceed, let them do it peacefully,” he said on Sunday.

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Sagar Biswas

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