Iron spikes placed by Delhi Police at Ghazipur border to keep farmers from entering the national capital during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.
Iron spikes placed by Delhi Police at Ghazipur border to keep farmers from entering the national capital during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.
Vijay Verma / PTI

New Delhi: Responding to medieval images emanating from farm protest sites -- of nails embedded in roads, layered barricading, barbed fences and walls with iron rod projectiles -- Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava had an innocuous response: That no one had raised questions when the police were attacked during the January 26 clashes in the city.

Speaking to media, Srivastava said, "I'm surprised that when tractors were used, the police was attacked and barricades were dismantled on January 26, no questions were raised."

"What have we done now? We've just reinforced the barricading so that it's not dismantled again," he added.

Commenting on images of Delhi Police personnel armed with shields and ‘steel lathis’ – almost like barbarians from another era – which they said were intended to defend themselves against sword-wielding protesters, Srivastava was candid enough to acknowledge that the metal rods were not part of Delhi Police weaponry.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police put out a disclaimer which said no formal order was given for reinforcing the force by equipping them with the steel armour. The statement added that the policemen took the initiative to arm themselves on their own. The Delhi Police also said that the ‘steel lathis’ were taken away as soon as senior officials were made aware of the same.

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