New Delhi: After prolonged stand-off, the agitating farmers on Tuesday breached barricades set up by the Delhi Police to thwart them from entering the national capital during Republic day parade and were faced with lathi charge and tear gas at the Singhu border and later in ITO. The police had given farmers permission to enter the city and hold their tractor parade once the official Republic Day parade at Rajpath is over.
However, breaching their covenant, some of the restless groups of protesters started the rally as early as 8 am on foot and drove on prohibited routes with their tractors within the national Capital. Hundreds of protesting farmers reached the Ring Road at Sarai Kale Khan and started moving towards ITO in central Delhi.
By around noon, the protesters started to pour in huge number over both carriageways of the Ring Road, which wasn’t a permitted place to take out rally as it is close to the India Gate lawns and is about 4 kms where the Republic Day function was taking place. The farmers, who outnumbered police, drove their tractors over the divider and spilled on to both the carriageways.
This early tractor rally landed protesting farmers in trouble who were then faced with water cannons, tear gas shells and cane-charged near Singhu and Ghazipur borders. While some volunteers attempted to keep the situation under control, and even held talks with the police, several other groups created ruckus and started to knock down the barricades and move forward. However, there were no reports of clashes at the tractor rally in Delhi’s Tikri border with neighbouring Haryana.
As per reports, at least two police vehicles were damaged in Singhu at around 11 am when police tried to stop protesting farmers from deviating from the permitted route for the rally.
On the other hand, in Sonipat the situation remained peaceful with the youth singing revolutionary songs on their tractors and jeeps.
Meanwhile, keeping this violent turn of protest in view, the Delhi Metro barred entry at several stations, including Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, Bahadurgarh City, Pandit Shree Ram Sharma, Tikri Border, Tikri Kalan, Ghevra, Mundka Industrial Area, Mundka, Rajdhani Park, Nangloi Railway Station and Nangloi.
It is to be mentioned that, farmer leaders protesting at the three borders; Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders, had agreed to adhere to the permitted route during their meetings with Delhi cops.
However, on Monday, hundreds of tractors rolled into Delhi from neighbouring states and assembled at the borders, decorated with balloons and national flags for the parade.