Karnataka’s farmer leaders have announced that they will hold a peaceful Tractor Parade in Bangalore on the Republic Day, demanding the withdrawal of the agricultural laws enacted by the central and state governments. Farmer, dalits and worker leader Chamarasa Maalipatil, Mavalli Shankar and K V Bhat respectively along with Kumar Samatala of Karnataka Janashakti and state president of Karnataka Region Agricultural Labourer’s Union leader Nityananda Swami addressed the media at the press club today. The leaders informed the media that more than twenty thousand farmers would be participating at the protest tomorrow.
Chamarasa Maalipatil said, “including the farmers from the Mumbai and Hyderabad Karnataka regions, farmers from Chamarajanagara, Mysuru, Kodagu, Mandya, Ramanagara, Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Tumkur will be participating in tomorrow’s protest. Police are stopping tractors everywhere and we condemn such acts of the police. May the police discuss and negotiate with us (the leaders). The circumstances would go wrong if the police attempt to disrupt the protests. The government alone will be responsible for any disruptions to the law and order.”
Mavalli Chandrashekhar said, “We have already met with the bangalore police. We have clarified that, come what may there would be no violence or any harm done to the public property. Farmers shall congregate near the city railway station and peacefully march till the freedom park. We have informed them that the centenarian H S Doreswamy would hoist the national flag at the freedom park. Even though the police are trying to disrupt the protest by holding the tractors and not letting tractors to get fuel,the protest would go on peacefully.”
Farmers from Raichur, Bellary, Chikkaballapura, Kolar, Madikeri, Mysuru and Mandya districts are reaching Bangalore. Farmers from Mysore, North Karnataka, Tumakur, Chikkaballapura and Kolar will be assembling at the Bididi junction, Tumkur-NICE junction, Devanahalli Nandi cross and Hoskote toll respectively at 9 AM on January 26, 2021. Farmers and other unions will be congregating at the city railway station. The march would begin from this point and conclude at the freedom park. The ill effects of the agriculture reforms brought in by the central and governments would be discussed at the freedom park.
Meanwhile, city police commissioner Kamal Pant said there was no room for tractor protests. This has enraged the farmer leaders. Why isn’t the state government allowing the tractor parade when it is being allowed in Delhi? We’ll do a tractor parade tomorrow. “If we are stopped the consequences would be dire, ” said Kurubur Shantakumar, president of the Sugarcane Growers Association.
The IGP has convened another round of meetings with the farmer leaders at 4 pm today.