Pakistan has been conspiring to disrupt and hijack the Republic Day tractor rally scheduled to be organized by the farmers protesting against three agriculture laws at the borders of Delhi, police said on Sunday, adding that over 300 Twitter handles have been generated in the neighbouring country as part of the sinister plan.
Addressing media persons on Sunday, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Dependra Pathak said that farmers will be allowed to hold what they have named as "Tractor Gantantra Parade" in Delhi after Republic Day celebrations conclude at the Rajpath.
He said that tight security arrangements will be put in place for the tractor rally in which around 10,000 tractors are expected to participate.
Elaborating on the threat posed by Pakistan, Pathak said that 308 Twitter handles were generated between January 13 and January 18 with an aim to disrupt the farmers' tractor rally by misleading people.
"We have continuously been getting inputs from intelligence and various other agencies regarding threats to create disturbance in the tractor rally. It will be a challenging task for us, but the rally will be conducted amid tight security after the parade is over," Pathak told the media.
Pakistan sends terrorists
The officer further said that there is a threat perception that Pakistan-based terrorist groups can create some trouble during the tractor rally on the Republic Day, which will start from three entry points of Delhi and return to its originating points.
"Mischievous elements can create a law-and-order situation. The 308 Twitter handles originating from Pakistan have been pushing hashtags linked to the farmers' protest and the tractor rally," Pathak said.
In a note circulated among the police officer, the Delhi Police Commissioner asked the officers and personnel deployed in the Republic Day parade duty to remain prepared to carry out another task and indicated that a law and order situation could arise during the rally.
"As desired by the Commissioner of Police, it is requested that all officers and men, as well as CAPF and any other force deployed for Republic Day parade security arrangements, should be made aware and be prepared that they will be required for law and order arrangements immediately after the Republic Day celebrations are over," the note reads.
It further says, "The officers should remain in a ready position to move at short notice for law and order arrangements in connection with Kisan tractor rally on Jan 26".
Police, farmers finalize route
At first, the Delhi Police tried to convince farmer leaders to hold their tractor parade outside the national capital but when farmers remained adamant to take the rally inside Delhi, police gave them permission and designated the routes.
According to Pathak, the tractor rally would commence from three border points -- Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur, pass through several places in Delhi, and finally culminated at their starting points.
From Singhu border, the rally will pass through Kanjhawala, Bawana, Auchandi border, Kundli–Manesar–Palwal (KMP) Expressway and then return to the border, Pathak said, adding that the rally starting from Tikri border will pass though Nagloi, Najafgarh, and Western Peripheral Expressway. From Ghazipur border, the rally will go to 56-foot road and return to its originating point passing through Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal Expressway, the police said.
For more than two months, thousands of farmers especailly from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttarakhand have been protesting against the three Central agriculture laws, at the borders of the national capital. They demand that the government repeal the laws and give legal guarantees on the minimum support price (MSP).
Alleged assasin was caught in protest
This is not the first time when questions have been raised on the security of the protest. Two days ago, farmers protesting at the Singhu border presented a man before the media, who said he was tasked to assasin four of them and create disruption during the tractor rally.
The farmers had claimed that the man was sent by "agencies". The man was handed over to Haryana Police, which later rubbished his allegations of involvement of a Haryana Police officer and said that no officer named by the man existed in the mentioned district.