The Yogi Adityanath government has geared up for the Kisan Mahapanchayat, scheduled to be held in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday.
“We expect a 70,000-strong gathering. To manage such crowds, deployment of forces is a standard operating procedure,” Muzaffarnagar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Abhishek Yadav said.
The forces include six companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and two of Rapid Action Force, and 1,200 policemen. Ten companies of paramilitary forces and 4,000 police personnel are also being deployed, sources said.
The SSP said that, “Drone cameras will be used for aerial surveillance and 200 CCTV cameras have been installed.”
For the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat that will reportedly decide the future course of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, 2,500 volunteers will work to keep things running and ‘ensure peace’.
The Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal have announced support to the event. The various Khaps will also be present at the Mahapanchayat which will be held at the GIC ground.
Farmers across the country will come together under the banner of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) for the Mahapanchayat.
Yudhvir Singh, national general secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), said, “Farmers from across the country, including Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and the southern states, will be arriving. Thousands of farmers from across Uttar Pradesh have started moving towards Muzaffarnagar since Friday. We have planned arrangements for 5 lakh people but the number may exceed since a large number of women are also joining in.”
“The Samyukt Kisan Morcha will officially declare its ‘Mission UP and Uttarakhand’ at the Mahapanchayat. We will appeal to farmers and other voters to defeat those who are supporting the three ‘black’ farm laws. The event is also an attempt to unite farmers across castes and religions, and show our strength. The farmers’ protest will intensify after Sunday,” SKM leader Gurnam Singh Charuni said.
Meanwhile, over 20 LED screens and microphones have been set up in a 4-kilometre radius from the venue, Government Inter College Ground.
Over 500 langars are already operating in Muzaffarnagar and surrounding areas. Another 500 mobile langars, tractors carrying food and drinking water, will ply routes leading up to Muzaffarnagar.
Those coming in for the Mahapanchayat from outside Muzaffarnagar can put up at one of over 20 banquet halls booked by the farmers’ body. Nearly 100 medical camps, 50 ambulances and a temporary hospital have also been set up to address any medical emergency.
The district administrations of Shamli, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat have shut down all liquor shops from Saturday night. The closure will continue till Sunday night.
The farmers’ protest that began on Delhi borders in November 202, still continues.
Several FIRs have been registered against protesting farmers by the government during the agitation in the recent past.