Protesting Farmers Usurp New Delhi, 1 Dead, Internet Suspended in Few Areas
Thousands of protesting farmers today, January 26 entered the national capital, New Delhi, as they staged the Tractor Rally on the occasion of the 72nd Republic Day, to protest against the three farm laws.
However, the peaceful tractor rally turned chaotic since the morning reportedly due to confusion over the routes to be followed for the parade. Protestors digressed from the pre-determined routes to enter the national capital.
Delhi Police had permitted the protesting farmers to stage their parade along three selected routes. However, a section of the farmers marched towards Central Delhi, rampaging barricades.
The violence took a more serious turn when a 34-year-old farmer died amid the chaos. Reportedly, the body of the farmer was found crushed under a tractor, although the protestors have alleged that he died due to police firing. A group of protestors also entered the Red Fort and went on to hoist their flag on the ramparts of the Fort.
Delhi police alongside other army personnel have been continuously firing tear gas and have even restored to using batons on certain occasions.
The Union Ministry has ordered a temporary suspension of telecom and internet services in the border areas of Delhi including Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, and Nangloi from 12 noon to 11:59 pm today as a precautionary measure.
Notably, the Delhi police had permitted the farmers to stage the Tractor March along three specified routes only after the official Republic Day parade at Rajpath. However, many chose to breach the barricades of these pre-designated routes despite reports of farmer leaders urging the masses not to digress.
Today marks the completion of two months of the farmers' protests against the farm laws.
Home Minister Amit Shah held an emergency meeting with the Delhi Police and other officials to take stock of the situation. Metro stations have also been closed down after the violence. The farmer union leaders have urged the protestors to return to the borders.
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Photo: Rocky Soibam