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On the morning of Republic Day, farmers were warmly welcomed in Delhi. As pictured below, tractors and cars carrying groups of protesters were showered with flowers and cheered on as they crossed the borders into the capital.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) January 26, 2021
However, the Indian farmers movement that had been peaceful for the last two months turned violent yesterday after protestors deviated from the designated route for the proposed tractor rally.
During a clash with the police at Delhi’s ITO, hundreds of protestors were seen chasing police personnel with sticks and ramming their tractors into the buses.
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) January 26, 2021
Large numbers of farmers on their tractors with flags ultimately made their way to Red Fort after breaching all the barricades on the way as ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisaan’ echoed all around central Delhi,
Soon after, farmers swarmed the Red Fort and waved flags from the ramparts of the fort. They hoisted farmers’ union flags as well as the Nishan Sahib flag.
— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2021
Later police were seen removing the flag while trying to remove protesters from the monument, resorting to a lathi-charge.
The protesters were out of control for some time as they outnumbered the Delhi Police at the fort but later paramilitary forces were deployed and the situation was brought under control.
Taking serious note of the chain of incidents, Home Minister Amit Shah called an emergency meeting where deliberations were underway to strengthen the security apparatus.
The officials are trying to zero in upon the individuals responsible for triggering the violence and provoking the farmers during the tractor parade. Security arrangements at Delhi’s borders are also being reviewed.
As the farmers’ protest turned violent, Internet services in some of the locations in the city were stopped following the government’s instruction.
— Firstpost (@firstpost) January 26, 2021
The instruction came at the request of Delhi Police that looked helpless in controlling the aggressive farmers who unexpectedly rammed police barricades and moved towards Red Fort soon after the Republic Day parade concluded.
The telecom operators like Jio, Airtel and Idea alerted their customers through messages about the disrupted Internet services.
“As per the government instructions, Internet services have been stopped in your areas till further notice,” said a message received from Jio in a particular area where Internet services were barred.
The Home Ministry in an order also suspended Internet services at Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi, along with their adjoining areas, till 11.59 p.m. for maintaining ‘public safety’.
Soon after the unexpected scenes at the Red Fort the ‘Samyukta Kisan Morcha’ issued a statement distancing itself from the ‘violent elements’.
The farmers’ union said, “We condemn and regret the undesirable and unacceptable events that have taken place today and dissociate ourselves from those indulging in such acts.”