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Farmers’ tractor rally turns violent, policemen attacked; one death reported

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The farmers’ tractor rally that was supposed to be a peaceful march turned violent on Tuesday, with farmers deviating from the approved route, entering the national capital, breaking police barricades, damaging police and public vehicles, and attacking policemen who were deployed to control the crowd.

In visuals from across the national capital, farmers could be seen chasing down policemen who were trying to safeguard themselves and resorting to stone-pelting. In several crucial intersections in Delhi, the policemen were outnumbered by the farmers. The protestors also reached Red Fort and waved flags.

As a precautionary measure, several stations of Delhi Metro were closed to avoid any untoward incident. In fact, farmers entered into a direct clash with Delhi police at ITO and police had to resort to mild lathicharge and fire tear gas shells. One person died after a tractor overturned at Delhi’s DDU Marg.

Notably, after multiple rounds of talks, the Delhi Police had approved farmers’ tractor rally, while imposing 37 riders.

What happened in the morning?

Protesting farmers at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders on Tuesday clashed with the Delhi Police and broke barricades to force their way into the national capital much ahead of the time granted by the police for their tractor rally.

Police had to fire tear gas shells after farmers tried marching towards Delh at Ghazipur border for the tractor rally.

In Delhi’s Mukarba Chowk, police had to use tear gas when farmers attempted to break cement barriers using tractors. Windows of buses and police vehicles were broken by the protestors. There were also reports of protestors snatching a tear gas gun and attacks on policemen.

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Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee’s Satnam Singh Pannu had said that policemen were stopping them from moving forward towards Ring Road.  He said, “We have to move towards Ring Road but police is stopping us. We have given them 45 mins to speak to their seniors. We are carrying out a peaceful parade. The route they are asking us to follow was not agreed upon.”

Centre opposed tractor rally

The Centre was against the tractor rally and had approached the Supreme Court against the same saying that it would result in an embarrassment for the country on Republic Day. However, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the matter saying that it is an issue concerning law and order and comes under the purview of the Delhi Police.

Following a refusal from the Supreme Court, the Delhi Police agreed to provide permission for the rally. Notably, farmers are demanding a repeal of the farm laws passed by the Centre, whereas the government is not ready to do so.

 

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