Farmers’ protest: How the tractor parade went awry

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 26

A tractor march meant to highlight farmers’ demands resutled into violence by a section of protesters. Here’s how the day unfolded: 

10:00 am: Farmers break barricades at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur Borders to enter Delhi’s arterial roads; this even though the R Day Parade was on. The agreement with the police was that the police will remove the barricades once the R Day parade ends

10:30 pm: Farmers at Ghazipur Border break the first barricade at Ghazipur check point and move in towards Delhi violating the route agreement under which they were to take a U turn towards Anand Vihar and return to the highway.

11:00 am: Farmers at Ghazipur break the second barrier at Noida Link Road and move past Akshardham towards central Delhi ITO, saying “we will conquer the Red Fort.

11:15 am: Ghazipur Border was the most volatile with section of farmers using tractors to break concrete barricades; some Nihangs flashed swords at cops but were prevented by other protesters

12:00 pm: Farmers from across all borders mainly Ghazipur reach ITO, clash with police to march towards India Gate and Red Fort. Police lob tear gas shells. Farmers flash steel rods and swords

1:00 pm: Some farmers speed their tractors stopping short of ramming into cops; police deployment increased at ITO after R-Day parade ends

1:15 pm: Several tractors and farmers break police cordons to move towards Red Fort; a farmer dies at ITO after a speeding truck he was driving turns turtle

2:00 pm: Thousands of farmers storm the Red Fort, some climb the flagstaff to unfurl a saffron flag, park all around the Fort

2:10: Rahul Gandhi tweets against the violence but seeks repeal of farm laws

2:30 pm: Clashes at ITO continue as farmers continue to enter Delhi

2:37 pm: BKU’s Rakesh Tikait asks farmers to return to pre decided routes but to no avail

2:50 pm: Farm union leader Yogendra Yadav issues a video appeal for calm

3:00 pm: Home Ministry invokes the Telegraph Act to suspend internet at Singhu, Tikri and Nangloi areas

3:15 pm: Thousands of farmers break Tikri barricades to pour into Delhi.

3:45 pm: Samyukta Kisan Morcha dissociates from the vandals.

4:00 pm: High level government meeting starts to decide on ways to tackle the siege of the capital. Home Minister chairing, orders additional forces in the city.

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