Thousands of farmers breached barricades and proceeded towards Delhi amid huge police presence as they kicked off their tractor rally on Republic Day. Chaos was unleashed on the streets leading to the national capital as farmers flouted the designated route and marched towards the Parliament and Red Fort.
The participants of the tractor rally also resorted to vandalism as they ran amok on the highways, attacking the trucks and breaking the barricades that were put up by the Delhi police to control their route. As disorder swept over the city’s borders, protesters were baton-charged and tear-gassed by the policemen on duty.
The upheaval was primarily caused after the protesters who were allowed to hold the “Kisaan Parade” between 12 to 5 PM, started the march much before the allotted time and veered away from the agreed-upon routes. The security personnel had tried in vain to convince the farmers to stick to the plan of holding the tractor parade after the conclusion of the Republic Day parade at Rajpath. But, their requests fell on deaf ears as the protesters ran riot, breaking barricades and vandalising vehicles on their way.
Protesters break barricades and unleash chaos along the borders in Delhi
A group of protesters at Karnal bypass broke police barricading to enter Delhi as farmers tractor rally is underway in the national capital Farm laws. Another mob of protesters removed barricades at Muberka Chowk. Similar scenes were witnessed at the Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Pandav Nagar where protesters broke the police barricading.
An unruly mob of demonstrators opposing the newly introduced Farm Bills crossed ITO in Delhi and would soon be reaching the Parliament. It is pertinent to note that this was not the designated route finalised by the farmers’ union and Delhi Police personnel.
Mob crossing ITO. pic.twitter.com/Eq73ZcnBVS— Raj Shekhar Jha (@rajshekharTOI) January 26, 2021
Several vehicles were vandalised by the demonstrators on their march in Delhi. A DTC bus was also vandalised by the demonstrators at the ITO area.
Farmer tractor rally defies agreed-upon route to reach Red Fort and India Gate
Defying agreed-upon route, a batch of protesters have reached the Red Fort in Delhi. It must be noted that the route decided by the Delhi Police for allowing the demonstrators a peaceful march on the Republic Day did not involve the route to Red Fort. In fact, it was banned SFJ’s call for the protesters to march towards the Red Fort.
SFJ had also announced a cash reward of USD 2,50,000 for hoisting the Khalistan flag on January 26 at the India Gate on Republic Day. Meanwhile, the Government of India has blocked the website shared by Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice in a letter to farmers protesting against Centre’s agriculture laws.
Interestingly, the farmers during the tractor rally are also approaching the India Gate, just as Sikhs for Justice had wanted.
#LIVE updates | "From ITO, we are proceeding towards India Gate": Protesting farmer tells NDTV's Arun Singh, who is reporting from Delhi's Pragati Maidan area #FarmersProtestpic.twitter.com/EkxNTnQ0mY— NDTV Videos (@ndtvvideos) January 26, 2021
Besides, the Pro-Khalistani secessionist outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) had also urged the protesters to display life-size portraits of secessionist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Beant Singh – Indira Gandhi’s assassin – during the tractor rally on January 26 in Delhi.
The route map of farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day was finalised on Sunday after the Delhi Police formally gave permission for the Kisan tractor rally to be held on January 26. The police had made special security arrangements and set the terms for the farmers’ rally. However, the protesters disobeyed the terms for the tractor rally and flouted the defined routes.