Singhu Border Farmers’ Protest: The sudden violence this afternoon at the Singhu protest site, which has been tense since the Republic Day violence, prompted the police to use tear gas shells and resort to lathi-charge. Farmers too appealed for calm.
New Delhi: A group of over 200 people threw stones and vandalised tents erected by farmers at the Delhi-Haryana border in Singhu, the epicenter of farmers’ protests for over two months. Two police personnel were injured, one of them by a sword. The sudden violence this afternoon at the protest site, which has been tense since the Republic Day violence, prompted the police to use tear gas shells and resort to lathi-charge. Farmers too appealed for calm.
Two people have been detained.
It is unclear how the large group of people managed to enter the site of the farmers’ protest despite the area being blocked by the police.
The people who entered the protest site also tried to vandalise other infrastructure such as farmers’ washing machines, demanding that the farmers vacate the protest site. Both sides threw stones at each other.
The police was seen trying to keep the vandals away from the protesting farmers.
Two other key border points – Tikri and the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Ghazipur – have also been placed under heavy security and remain tense.
Shortly after the clashes at the Singhu border, similar scenes were reported from Tikri, another Delhi-Haryana border, where a group of people began opposing the farmers’ protest and demanded they vacate the site. The people said they will not let the national flag be “insulted”, referring to the Red Fort violence on Republic Day.
On Thursday, in Haryana’s Karnal, about 96 km from Singhu, farmers who had been protesting for nearly two months in Karnal, were told to leave. A group of people gave them a 24-hour ultimatum, saying they were facing inconvenience because of the protests.
At the Ghazipur border in east Delhi, Rakesh Tikait’s Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has called a “Mahapanchayat” or meeting today amid a huge backlash over Tuesday’s violence during their tractor rally.
Last evening, the administration in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana ordered cops to remove thousands of farmers who have been protesting at various points outside Delhi against three central laws for over two months.
The farmers have alleged a conspiracy to taint their Republic Day tractor rally in which protesters clashed with the police in various parts of Delhi after forcing their way in through barricades.
Farmers fear the new laws will deprive them of guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to exploitation by big business. Eleven rounds of talks have been held between the farmers and the government but there been no breakthrough. The farmers have turned down the centre’s last offer to put the laws on hold for 18 months while a special committee conducts negotiations.