Marred by violence: Did farmers digress on what was agreed upon
New Delhi, Jan 26: The farmers protesting at the three borders said that they decided to adhere to the route agreed upon during their meetings, but some groups of protesters started the rally and drove on prohibited routes within Delhi.
The early hours of the protests have been marred with reports of farmers clashing with the police. Reports also said that the police had to use water cannons and tear gas shells to disburse the farmers.
Following a meeting on Sunday, the police said that they had reached a consensus with the farmers on holding the rally at specific locations near the three borders. During the meeting, the farmers had agreed to stick to specific routes and not enter other parts of the city. However, it became clear that the farmers began their rally an hour before the decided time. The farmers had assured the police that they would begin their rally only once the Republic Day parade was over.
At around 11.30 am, the farmers were proceedings towards Akshardham Temple and were trying to enter Central Delhi. The police allowed them to drive up to Ghazipur and take a U turn. However the police had to resort to firing tear gas shells and cane charging.
The farmers had said that this would be a peaceful protest, but they went berserk. There were directives issues stating that the tractors should not play loudspeakers or crowd the tractors. While the unions had urged the farmers not to carry arms, the participation of the Nihang Sikhs atop horses carrying and wielding swords became a flashpoint of the chaos that ensued today.
Chaos was reported at Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and one group of protesters took the Akshardham route instead of the Apsara road, which was designated.
The national capital is on a state of very high alert as the farmers get ready to take out a tractor parade. The Intelligence Bureau has warned that pro-Khalistan elements backed by Pakistan's ISI would look to hijack the protests and disrupt peace in Delhi.
On Monday, the Delhi Police said that over 300 Twitter handles had been traced to Pakistan that were created to sabotage the rally. The proscribed outfit, Sikhs for Justice has been threatening strikes and has even tried to influence the farmers' protest on several occasions.
The CISF control room allegedly received a call from the SJF in which the message of Gurpatwant Singh Pannu's message was played. The SJF has been staging protests outside the Indian consulates at UK, US and Canada stating that they are backing the farmers' protests.