New Delhi: As thousands of farmers hold ‘chakka jam’ today from 12 noon to 3 pm, over 50,000 armed personnel, drawn from Delhi Police, reserve police forces and paramilitary, were deployed at various protesting sites, including the border. Special Cell’s SWAT teams and NSG have also been kept on standby to be moved at a short notice in case of an emergency.
‘Chakka jam’ was promised to be a totally peaceful and non-violent form of protest and will happen only on national and state highways and nothing will take place inside Delhi; emergency and essential services are exempted.
The administration, however, is not taking the promises at face value and gearing up for a law and order challenge in order to avoid violent situation like that on Republic Day. Bomb and dog squads have also been stationed at multiple places in the national capital as well. Several companies of ITBP, CRPF and RAF are also out for maintaining law and order in the city.
Extra vigilance will be maintained at crowded places like markets and religious and places of historic significance with focus on places like Red Fort, India Gate and the routes leading to Parliament. Kuccha roads which provide easy access to the main city will be under watch as well. Footage from CCTV cameras will be monitored from the central C4i control room and other sub-control rooms formed at the four borders and at other strategic places.
The police is, however, directed to use minimal force and that too only in extreme circumstances, but if violence breaks out, they are to prevent escalation at all costs. As per intelligence inputs, anti-social elements may try to disrupt law and order to which police forces have been directed to take necessary measures.
Meanwhile, the protest sites at the borders are already fortified with layers of barricades, concrete barriers, tyre slashers, sharp nails fixed to ground and nets to stop stone-pelting. The main challenge for the security officials while dealing with rallies by farmers is that the gathering virtually turns leaderless. “Once on the ground, they make their own sub-groups with peers and start to operate on their own, leaving little scope for negotiations. So, they have to be handled as per the situation,” a police official explained.
To note, extra barricading has been installed at critical points like Kalindi Kunj, Akshardham, Naraina and Narela due to which traffic jams were being reported on February 6.