Police say forces inimical to India intend to hijack, disrupt farmers’ tractor rally

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25

Noting that there are intelligence inputs suggesting that Pakistan’s ISI and a few “rogue elements linked to separatist Khalistani groups” intend to hijack and disrupt the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Tuesday, Delhi Police officials on Monday said the leaders among the protesters had been asked to stay alert and try to be “eyes and ears” of the security agency.

The officials said a huge conspiracy is being hatched by forces inimical to India to disrupt the farmers’ tractor rally and thereby give a bad name to the country.  

In line with this, Delhi Police on Sunday had claimed that more than 300 Twitter handles had been traced to Pakistan that had been created to sabotage the rally, for which permission was granted after a meeting between the senior police officials and protesting farmers.

Sources in Delhi Police said the security across the national capital had been stepped up, particularly around the power stations. They said these installations in and around the national capital are likely to be targeted, and that intelligence inputs also suggested that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s posters might be flashed during the rally.

On Sunday, a series of restrictions were announced by Delhi Police as they allowed the farmers – protesting near Delhi’s borders since late November – to enter the national capital, but “they can’t disturb the Republic Day parade”.

The permission to the protesting farmers was granted after a series of meetings, which took place following the Supreme Court observation that the issue is well within the domain of the police and they had to take the final decision.

The police officials, however, said it would be a challenging task for them, but the rally would be conducted amid tight security after the Republic Day parade is over.

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