Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 26
Chaotic, unruly, violent scenes marked the state of affairs at the Ghazipur border this noon as farmers broke two police barricades to march into New Delhi and headed straight towards the Red Fort, where the Republic Day parade participants were also headed.
Entering the Ghazipur border before the culmination of the R-Day parade, thousands of tractors and trailers broke the first barrier near Ghazipur check post and then the Delhi police barricades near the Noida link road, just before the Akshardham temple.
The barricades had been erected to ensure that the tractors took a U-turn at Ghazipur check point towards Anand Vihar and moved back.
The pre-decided plan was thrown to the winds as the farmers’ parade featured not just tractors but also trailers, which the Delhi police had not permitted. Each tractor had over 10 persons.
A section of Nihangs were seen carrying weapons, with one of them seen swinging his sword towards the police but was pacified by others not to do so.
A youth participant in the tractor parade was seen getting on to the crane deployed by the Delhi Police to stop the traffic inflow towards Delhi. He used the crane to yank concrete barriers as well as the metal ones to make way for the tractors.
When the first set of crowd broke through Noida link road, a youth almost ran over two Delhi Police personnel when stopped from proceeding further into the city where the arterial roads have to be kept out of bounds for the evacuation of Republic Day parade participants.
The unruly farmer crowds were unstoppable and windowpanes of four to five trucks positioned along the roads by the Delhi Police as barricades were also broken.
The Delhi Police used tear gas twice to control the charging farmers but did not lathi charge them. They remained largely restrained despite all the baiting from the young farmers, and frequent provocation.
A few farmers were heard saying they would march towards the Red Fort and encircle it to express their angst against the farm laws.
The Delhi Police have stationed heavy security at the ITO from where the farmers plan to march towards the Red Fort, in clear signals of the situation turning violent.
The Delhi Police and farmers clashed at ITO intersection after the tractors attempted to move towards the Red Fort. The police appealed to farmers to take a U-turn back towards the Ghazipur border.
A section of protesters are using the tractors as weapons, they are driving the trucks around at ITO, trying to run over police, right under the shadow of Delhi Police headquarters.
Paramilitary and the police stationed at ITO have been heavily outnumbered by the farmers and have been asking the farmers to return to Ghazipur border and help maintain peace.
The farmers who entered through Ghazipur didn’t follow the instructions issued by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha.
They defied the pre-devised agreement between farm leaders and the Delhi Police.