Rich and middlemen-influenced farmers from Punjab, Haryana, northern Rajasthan, western Uttar Pradesh and some other parts of the country broke their pact with Delhi Poilce to hold the capital city to ransom today. Demonstrators clashed with police at different places in the capital amid Republic Day parade.
In the morning, the farmers who were participating in the tractor rally had clashed with Delhi Police. They broke the barricades put in place by the police. The farmers then entered the capital.
Last week, after the Supreme Court told Delhi Police the judiciary was not going to tell them what they should do about the proposed tractor rally, the police of the capital, which reports to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, decided in its wisdom to permit the demonstrations.
A large number of farmers reached the Red Fort driving and riding tractors. The protesting farmers then entered the exalted location from where the national flag is hoisted by the prime minister every year on the Independence Day. The protesters waved their yellow flag as well as symbols of Sikhism from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
Protesters at the ITO traffic junction — where the Delhi Police headquarters are situated — broke barricades using farmer tractors. As the ruckus escalated, the police lathi-charged the farmers.
They wielded the national flag to pass themselves off as patriots. In the following video, one can hear some onlookers commenting sarcastically this demonstration is “peaceful”.
Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. Six policemen were injured during their exercise of mob control.
Farmers made an attempt to mow down the policemen on duty with their tractors.
Two reporters were injured as farmers attacked even journalists and onlookers alike who did not seem to sympathise with them.
Some protesters have suffered injuries in the stampede when the cops charged towards them with batons.
On National Highway 24 (NH 24), farmers tried to march towards the Akshardham temple, breaking barricades on the way. The farmers damaged the police vehicles on the way.
On the Karnal bypass of the capital, the protesting farmers were horse-mounted Nihang Sikhs who assailed policemen on the other side of the barricade. The police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
In Nangloi, policemen sat on the ground to stop the protesting farmers from moving ahead. The farmers then, instead of sticking to the permitted route towards Najafgarh, headed towards Peeragadhi on Rohtak Road.
The Bahadurgarh-Piragadhi metro service was stopped with immediate effect. All the metro stations on this route, including Piragadhi, have been closed.
The protesters boarded a police vehicle at Makarba Chowk in the capital and broke through the police barricades.
Delhi Metro has closed the gates of many metro stations through which tractor parades of farmers passed. Delhi Metro tweeted that the entries and exits of stations at Samaypur Badli, Rohini Sector 18/19, Haiderpur Badli Mor, Jahangir Puri, Adarshanagar, Azadpur, Model Town, GTB Nagar, University, Delhi Assembly, Civil Lines, and Indraprastha had been closed for the time being.
Clashes broke out between protesters and police on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Pandav Nagar. The time for the tractor parade of the farmers had been fixed after the Republic Day parade, but the farmers today reneged on all the promises they had made to the administration.
A tractor overturned while performing a stunt at Noida’s Chilla border. Two people were injured in the avoidable mishap. Later, onlookers pulled the tractor to make it stand upright.
Earlier, police erected a temporary wall overnight at Karnal bypass in the capital to stop the farmers’ tractor rally. In view of the tractor rally, Delhi Traffic Police had on Monday issued a separate traffic advisory for Republic Day, warning people to avoid the route the police had fixed for the tractor rally.
Some of the unions of farmers had, anyway, announced last evening that they would parade from UP Gate to Akshardham. Due to the show of defiance by the farmers, Delhi Police on Monday evening closed Delhi’s border at the UP Gate. Traffic coming from Ghaziabad was diverted towards Ghazipur.