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K’taka police allow 10 tractors for symbolic rally in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, Jan 26 (IANS) Hundreds of farmers held the ‘Jana Ganarajyotsava Parade’ amid tight security here on Tuesday after the Republic Day parade.

Several farmers from various parts of Karnataka reached Bengaluru on tractors and other vehicles as part of the ‘Jana Ganarajyotsava Parade’. Except for the coastal region, which is considered to be a stronghold of the ruling BJP, farmers all over the state held tractor rallies after unfurling the national flag and singing the national anthem to mark the 72nd Republic Day in their own style.

A symbolic tractor rally comprising 10 tractors entered the city from the Mysuru road, Tumkur road and Devanahalli in the afternoon. The farmers, led by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Samyukta Horata Samiti (United Struggle Committee), an umbrella organisation of farmers, trade unions and Communist parties, converged at the Freedom Park.

The rally was held in solidarity with the farmers protesting against the farm laws in Delhi.

However, due to elaborate security arrangements made by the Bengaluru City police, larrge number of tractors couldn’t enter the city following the setting up of additional makeshift check-posts.

The tractors which arrived from different districts around the city to participate in the rally were stopped on the outskirts and the farmers were asked to go by car, bus or bike, but not on tractors.

The police permitted only 10 tractors to be part of the rally in order to allow the tractor rally to be held symbolically.

The rallies were peaceful and there were no altercations between the authorities or the police and the protesters, both in Bengaluru and in other parts of the state.

“Approximately 10,000 farmers and protesters took part in the anti-farm law protest and tractor rally organised as part of the ‘Jana Ganarajyotsava Parade’ held in Bengaluru,” said Vinya Sreenivasan, activist and member of the Samyukta Horata Samiti, an umbrella organisation of farmers and trade unions.

But stopping the tractors did irk the farmer leaders. Kurubur Shanthkumar, a farmer leader, said, “About 5,000 farmers are at the Freedom Park but all the tractors have been stopped by the police and we condemn their action.”

Senior traffic police officers said that most of the tractors were stopped on the outskirts of the city and the farmers used their own vehicles to reach the Freedom Park. There was no traffic jam as there were less vehicles on the roads owing to the Republic day holiday.

Meanwhile, scores of students from Mysore University took out a silent protest in front of the university campus demanding that the three Centra farm laws be repealed.

In Bengaluru, members of the transgender community prepared breakfast for the farmers who arrived to take part in the protest in the city.

Even civic workers, domestic workers, students, farm labourers came in hordes to support the farmers’ protest at the Bengaluru City railway station.

–IANS

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