Chaos unfolded near the Delhi borders as thousands of farmers knocked down police barricades and entered Delhi on foot this morning amid huge police presence as they kicked off their tractor rally against the government’s new agricultural laws.
According to a report by NDTV, protesters were baton-charged and tear gas shells were fired by policemen.
Amid celebrations for 72nd Republic Day across the country, farmers were allowed to hold their tractor rally – “Kisaan Parade” – in Delhi after the annual event at the iconic Rajpath. However, crowds swelled at the borders at around 8 AM even before the annual celebrations started.
Some cops were injured while trying to stop the protesters.
Unprecedented visuals showed chaos unfolding at the Singhu border, which divides Delhi and Haryana and has been the epicentre of protests against the farm laws that began late November at the outskirts of the national capital. More than 5,000 protesters had gathered this morning near the Singhu border.
In west Delhi near the Tikri borders, farmers’ leaders asked the protesters to maintain calm after the march began at around 9 AM. “Our rally will be peaceful and we will stick to the routes assigned,” a leader told NDTV.
Thousands were seen marching with flags; rows of tractors were seen on the three routes that were cleared the Delhi Police. A dramatic video from Delhi’s Akshardham showed policemen firing tear gas shells from an overbridge as protesters on road looked for cover.
On Sunday, Delhi Police had allowed the tractor rally after the annual Republic Day parade. The protesters were told they can’t disrupt the celebrations at Rajpath even as the farmers insisted their parade will be “peaceful”.