New Delhi (NVI): The farmers protesting over the farm bills today clashed with police as they tried to deviate from pre-decided routes to enter Delhi, to carry out a tractor rally. The protesting farmers also entered Red Fort in the national capital and hoisted their own flag there.
Following the death of a protester and dozens of Delhi police personnel left injured, one of the key farmer groups has called off the tractor rally, accusing anti-social elements of being responsible for the violence.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a high-level meeting in the evening where he directed the deployment of additional paramilitary forces in Delhi. Punjab and Haryana have been placed under high alert.
The clashes started at Singhu border in the morning where the police resorted to lathicharge and tear gas to control the protesters.
The police had given farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders in Delhi permission to hold rallies on specific routes, only after the official Republic Day parade at Rajpath.
However, the farmers started moving towards Central Delhi while removing barricades, attacking police personnel and also vandalising a DTC bus at ITO. According to reports, one person has been killed at protests in ITO as his tractor turned turtle after he was shot at.
As per the agreement between farmer leaders and Delhi Police, the protesters were to remain in the adjoining areas of the borders and not venture towards Central Delhi.
A group of protesting farmers entered Red Fort after breaching heavy police security. The protesters also hoisted certain flags at Red Fort as police tried to bring them down. Pertinent to mention here that Red Fort was not on the route decided for farmers.
After the farmers’ tractor rally in the national capital turned violent, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has announced that entry and exit gates of several metro stations in Delhi have been closed.
Meanwhile, the Centre has also temporarily suspended telecom services in border areas of Delhi from 12 pm to 11:59 pm after clashes between protesting farmers and security personnel.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi borders for over two months now, demanding repealing recently passed farm laws. Farmer leaders have also announced that they would march on foot to Parliament on February 1, when the Union Budget will be presented.