As the farmers' protest entered its second day, the Delhi Police Commissioner on Friday afternoon said that the agitators would be allowed to enter the national capital. They will have the permission to protest at the Nirankari Samagam Ground in the Burari area.
"After discussion with farmer leaders, Delhi Police has allowed farmers to protest peacefully at Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari. We appeal to them to maintain peace in order to avoid any inconvenience to others," news agency ANI quoted Delhi Police PRO Eish Singhal as saying.
Over the last day and a half, hundreds of farmers have attempted to reach the national capital, protesting against the Centre's new farm laws. Despite being denied permission to protest in Delhi on November 26 and 27, the farmers had begun marching towards the capital.
The situation took a grim turn as the police sealed borders, set up barricades and used water cannons and tear gas to disperse people. Some, including activist Yogendra Yadav said that they had been detained after joining the protesters. The use of water cannons in spite of the chilly weather has drawn sharp criticism form opposition leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Earlier today, the Delhi Police had sought permission from the Delhi Government to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons in view of the protests. This has since been turned down by the Delhi government.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who had earlier in the day urged the Centre to immediately initiate talks with the Kisan Unions to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders, lauded the move to allow them into the Union Territory.
"I welcome Centre’s decision to allow farmers to enter Delhi to exercise their democratic right to protest. They should also now initiate immediate talks to address farmers' concerns on the Farm Laws and resolve the simmering issue," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The protests have led to choked roads, and prompting the Delhi Traffic Police to issue repeated updates about roads to avoid. Some areas faced delays because checks were being conducted before vehicles were let into the city. In one notable set of photos, a groom and his wedding party was seen walking along the road in Meerut due to a road blockade.
On social media, the countless videos of the farmers clashing with police officials has evoked massive outrage and consternation. Some reports suggest that even after they received permission to enter Delhi, the use of tear gas and water cannons has continued.
Take a look at some of the visuals shared since today morning: