On Tuesday, thousands of protesting farmers thronged the historic Red Fort and hoisted flags on the iconic landmark's lower ramparts. After clashing with police at several locations where barricades were put up to avoid the rally, the protesting farmers' tractor march entered the Red Fort.
The Red Fort was swarmed by a large number of farmers bearing the tricolors and flags of the farmers union in their hands. A few young people even climbed the flagpole on the 17th century icon and put up a 'Nishaan Sahib' flag.
Just as the farmer's rally entered the national capital, there were reports of clashes between the police and the protestors. Police resorted to lathi charge and tears gas as the rally tried to break the barricades put up by the administration.
Leaders condemn violence
Former President of Congress, Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter, "Violence is not the solution to any problem. If anyone gets hurt, the damage will happen to our country. Take back the anti-agricultural law for the benefit of the country."
हिंसा किसी समस्या का हल नहीं है। चोट किसी को भी लगे, नुक़सान हमारे देश का ही होगा।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 26, 2021
देशहित के लिए कृषि-विरोधी क़ानून वापस लो!
Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor condemned the violence and wrote on microblogging site, Twitter, "Most unfortunate. I have supported the farmers' protests from the start but I cannot condone lawlessness. And on Republic Day no flag but the sacred Tiranga should fly aloft the Red Fort."
Following the violent clashes, the government ordered the suspension of internet services in parts of the Delhi NCR amid farmers' protests in the national capital. Provisional suspension of internet services in the areas of Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, and Nangloi and their neighbouring areas in the NCT of Delhi from 12.00 hours to 23.59 hours on the Day of the Republic was ordered by the government to telecommunications service providers.
Condemning the violence, Yogendra Yadav, "The information I'm getting from Delhi is regrettable and condemnable, peace has been breached today. This incident does not present the tenor of the Farmers Protest." He also went on to say, "There is an appeal to all colleagues to parade on the route set by the United Farmers Front. Being separated from him will only harm the movement. Peace is the strength of the peasant movement. If the peace is broken then only the movement will suffer."
Tuesday's huge tractor parade not only coincides with Republic Day but also with the completion of two months of farmers' demonstrations against the three newly enacted farm laws on the Delhi border. Although the police have restricted the parade to 5,000 individuals and 5,000 tractors, farmers claimed the participation of some two lakh tractors.
Amit Shah holds meeting with top officials
Meanwhile, as per a report in NDTV, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security and police officers to discuss and review security. At the high-level meeting, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava were present.
Amit Shah was reportedly briefed on the clashes that erupted today in different areas of Delhi after thousands of farmers breached barricades at the borders, deviated from negotiated routes and entered the heart of the city.