Farmers Protest Turns Violent in Delhi

There were violent clashes between the farmer associations and the Delhi police during the tractor rally. Visuals from the Red Fort showed farmers hoisting a sacred flag of Sikhs at a second flagpole.

Farmers have been protesting the 3 farm laws that were created by the Central Government for almost 6 months now and wanted to hold a tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day but the Government opposed it and said no as the government felt it would shame India. There was a court case and the farmer finally received permission to protest. The Delhi Police had allowed a rally with a fixed route and time. However, there was dangerous violence and chaos in Delhi. Let me tell you what happened. 

Farmers were given police permission to hold the rally on the border of Delhi. They were given permission to conduct the rally near the Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders. According to the permissions, the rally could enter the city only after the traditional Republic Day parade ended around 11.30 am. But the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee refused to stick to the route and by 8 am, thousands entered Delhi on foot. 

Violence broke out at central Delhi's ITO, where the police headquarters is located. A farmer died there as a tractor overturned. A bus was vandalized by a tractor in nearby Akshardham, where the police clashed with protesters.  In Nangloi, the police used teargas shells on the protesting farmers. 

Farmers even entered the Red Fort as well. Visuals from the Red Fort showed farmers hoisting a sacred flag of Sikhs at a second flagpole. Repeated  attempts were made to hoist flags on the fort's domes as well. The Delhi police, wielding batons, managed to remove the protesting farmers from inside the fort. Thousands of others, waving the national flag, stood at the huge gates of the fort. The police have filed four cases over vandalism in East Delhi. Eight buses and 17 private vehicles were vandalised. Overall, 83 police personnel have been injured in the violence.

A key all-India farmers' group, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, called off the tractor rally, asking participants to return to the protest sites outside Delhi borders. The group also said anti-social elements had "infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement".

Union Home minister Amit Shah will hold a high-level meeting on 27 January evening where the leaders will decide to deploy paramilitary forces in Delhi. Punjab and Haryana have been placed under high alert. The Internet has been suspended in parts of Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.