New Delhi: The violent clashes that broke out between protesting farmers and Delhi police, across the city on Republic day, left 394 police personnel injured and more than 80 still admitted to hospitals, tell a lot about the horror and state of complete mayhem that gripped the national capital. Recalling the deplorable incident, Delhi police personnel tell how they were outnumbered by agitated protesters carrying swords, lathis, glass bottles and chains.
Inspector P C Yadav, who was there at Red Fort when farmers stormed in the iconic fort, sustained injuries on his face, head, back and hand. “We saw a large number of people entering the fort and followed them. They then climbed walls and went to the rampart. We tried to remove them but they became aggressive and started attacking us with swords and lathis. One personnel was hit in the head and was bleeding. I went downstairs and was taking him to the hospital when they stopped us and thrashed us with lathis. I was wearing protective gear but my helmet broke after they hit me with the sword. I then lost consciousness. We did observe restraint because they are farmers, but they didn’t,” said the police officer, who received 12 stitches on his head.
A 32-year-old DCP (North) Anto Alphonse operator, Sandeep, who was admitted to Tirath Ram hospital after sustaining injuries on his hands, back and abdomen, said he was “scared” when hundreds of farmers entered the Red Fort and shouted “police ko maaro” while charging at them with weapons.
“I was at Red Fort when the protesters broke through the gates and were hoisting their flag. Around 3 pm, when some of the groups were starting to leave, more tractors came in and joined them. I was inside the fort when a group of 5-10 protesters charged at me. They beat me up with lathis. I ran with some other personnel and hid near a washroom, but they found us and shouted ‘inko maaro’. We were scared because most of us were injured. They again thrashed us and left. I called DCP sir and he sent me to a hospital,” said Sandeep.
To assist police at Red Fort, teams from the Third Battalion, North district, Central district and CRPF were also called in but they too had a hard time controlling the crowd. Third Battalion head constable Mahavir, (48) narrated the terrible scene from the protest site saying he sustained injuries on his shoulders and head while trying to remove protesters from the fort, “They pelted stones at me. I fell on the ground and tried to save myself but they thrashed me with lathis. I was alone and rushed to save myself. The protesters were jumping walls and pelting stones and glass objects at us. They even tried to set fire to CRPF vehicles. We didn’t take any action and were told to rescue other injured personnel. We went to a nearby school and waited for an ambulance as roads were blocked.”