INDIA: The farmers who have been protesting against the three agricultural bills for the past two months, were seen breaking police barricades at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur border, early morning on Republic Day to enter Delhi. As per the agreement by the Delhi police, the ‘tractor parade’ was scheduled to take place within the capital, only after the conclusion of the national Republic Day parade at the Rajpath.
According to officials, the security at the border tried to convince the farmers to begin their protests only after the Rajpath ceremony concludes. However, the farmer leaders at the Singhu border did not budge. On the contrary, they gave the police 45 minutes to remove the barricades and let them continue their march towards the Outer Ring Road in Central Delhi.
This situation led to stone-pelting and lathi-charge by the police as the farmers broke the remaining barricades at the Singhu border. The protest turned violent at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar as farmers climbed a police water cannon vehicle. In response, the police resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the protestors.
Meanwhile, the farmer’s protest at the Sonipat border was quite peaceful.
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The permission for the tractor parade was granted on the grounds that the farmers will enter Delhi from the borders, but stay in the adjoining areas and not march towards Central Delhi. Delhi Police had issued norms, such as no more than five people to a tractor, no sitting on the bonnet, and no raising provocative slogans. However, farmers were seen violating these protocols as they attempted to carry out their protest.
The farmer unions have also announced a foot march to the parliament on February 1, when the Union Budget will be presented. The farmers took this decision to push their demands to revoke the farm bills.
On parallel lines of the tractor parade at Delhi borders, thousands of farmers across 21 districts in Maharashtra arrived in Mumbai to display their solidarity with the farmers protesting in Delhi. The three-day sit-in at Azad Maidan, Mumbai from January 23 to 26 is in support of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), one of the leads in the Delhi protests.