BREAKING NEWS

Advertisement

India

Updated on: Saturday, January 30, 2021, 07:45 AM IST

Tensions prevail at Delhi border points as goons engage in pitched battles with protesting farmers

Photo Credit: ANI

Photo Credit: ANI

Advertisement

New Delhi: Tension prevailed on Delhi’s borders with the BJP mobilising people against the farmers agitating against the three contentious farm laws, with the police descending in the area in large numbers from Delhi as well as from the BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The farmer leaders, however, brought the situation under control on Friday after nearly two hours of pitched fights and police action.The agitating farmers, who were getting all-round support of the local residents on the border outposts, on Friday morning found themselves at the receiving end with attacks on them at Singhu and Tikri entry points.

The development came even as union leader Rakesh Tikait managed to unite the farmers at Ghazipur border, breathing a new life into the agitation, with thousands rushing for a "maha-panchayat" after a late night UP police attempt to break up their gatherings.

The Delhi Police had cordoned off the agitators since Thursday night at the two borders and did not permit anybody to cross its barricades unless the person had an I-card; hence when a crowd of 200 to 300 persons descended at the Singhu entry point and about 100 at Tikri on Friday, the police was caught napping. A bigger surprise awaited them as stone throwing and uprooting of tents ensued; soon scuffles broke out, forcing the police to resort to a lathicharge and fire tear gas shells to disperse both sides.The police claimed those attacking the farmers were "locals" as they knew the topography of the area– the roads and by-lanes which they took to reach the venue without crossing the barricades.

Two BJP leaders were also seen leading the mob to the flashpoint in cars and motorcycles. The police officers said they did their best to control the mob, instead of trying to check if they were locals; and even their SHO was wounded in the clash between the two sides.There was less damage at Tikri, but the assailants inflicted substantial damage at Singhu border, burning some of the tents and looting the food grains stored by the farmers. Both sides clashed with stones and lathis, but the farmer leaders were quick to wrest control and persuaded youngsters not to give a bad name to their movement which had been peaceful thus far by getting provoked.

The leaders were finally also able to calm down the attackers. In a related development, the Kisan Ekta Morcha, an umbrella body of the farmer unions, has tweeted an appeal to all supporters to "share any videos from the January 26 tractor rally at the Red Fort on WhatsApp No 8199980810." The appeal was also put on its Facebook page. In another tweet, it said the government's duty is to resolve the farmers' problems, but instead it is trying to disrupt their movement.

"You cannot suppress the voice of farmers by your own propaganda," it said and added: "They thought they can break the protest by doing their well-planned drama at Red Fort. Now, it is time to tell them the meaning of unity and the power of farmers. "Those resorting to attacks at both the border points raised slogans, asking the farmers to vacate the protest sites. The farmers later said they could not be locals, whom they know since they were interacting over the last two months; the locals also often joined them in "langar," since most of them were poor villagers. The farmers continued their protest to press for repeal of the farm laws at all the three border points.

Advertisement

At the Ghazipur border, farm leader Rakesh Tikait said: "It took me just 40 seconds on Thursday night to breathe a new life into the farmers' movement.’’ The morale of the protestors was down due to the police cutting off water and power supplies, he pointed out.

He said the situation was no longer tense since some crowds from the nearby Ghaziabad town quietly vanished after more farmers arrived from nearby UP districts like Meerut, Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad and Bulandshahr. Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav also reached Ghazipur on Friday afternoon to address the gathering; others at the gathering included Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and former Rashtriya Lok Dal MP Jayant Chowdhury. In a related development, the Haryana government has extended suspension of mobile services in 17 districts till Saturday night, citing tension generated by the farmers' protests.

Advertisement

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Saturday, January 30, 2021, 07:45 AM IST
Advertisement