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Rediff.com  » News » Delhi shuts borders, police told to retaliate if farmers use force

Delhi shuts borders, police told to retaliate if farmers use force

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: February 13, 2024 22:11 IST
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Authorities in New Delhi intensified security arrangements on Tuesday to stop the farmers' march from entering Delhi as the Singhu and Tikri borders were shut while the Red Fort complex was closed temporarily after peasants on their way to the national capital clashed with the police at the Shambhu border between Haryana and Punjab.

IMAGE: Locals stand at the Punjab-Haryana border, which is being barricaded as the farmers call for the 'Delhi Chalo' protest march scheduled for February 13th, in Patiala on Monday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Multi-layer barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers have been placed at the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders, with the deployment of a large number of security personnel in anti-riot gear.

With massive security arrangements at the three border points, commuters had a harrowing time as they spent hours stuck in jam-packed traffic.

Metal and concrete barricades were put up at many places in central Delhi as part of the security arrangements. Multiple gates of nine metro stations near important installations, including Parliament, were shut. The gates were opened later.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Ravindra Yadav, while visiting the Singhu border in the evening, made an announcement, asking the personnel to respond "aggressively" if the protesting farmers try to enter Delhi and "show aggression".

 

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the "Delhi Chalo" agitation to put pressure on the BJP-led Centre for their demands, including a law on a minimum support price for crops and loan waivers.

Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora visited the Tikri and Singhu borders to review the security arrangements.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government rejected the Centre's proposal to convert the Bawana stadium into a makeshift jail in view of the farmers' march to the national capital.

Delhi Home Minister Kailash Gahlot wrote to Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar denying permission for the same and expressed solidarity with the farmers.

Earlier in the day, farmers from Punjab faced tear gas shells -- some dropped by a drone -- at two border points of Haryana-Punjab as protesters tried to break past barricades that were installed to stop them from heading to Delhi.

The police hurled tear gas shells and the protesters hurled stones at the Shambhu border near Haryana's Ambala. Tear gas was also used against protesters at the border between the two states in Haryana's Jind district.

Hours after the clashes between the farmers and security personnel at the Punjab-Haryana border, the Delhi police closed the Tikri and Singhu borders for the movement of vehicles, forcing people to cross these points on foot.

Traffic crawled at a snail's pace at many places in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

Arun Singh from Uttarakhand, who was on his way to visit his ailing father at a Delhi hospital, felt helpless after being stuck in traffic at the Ghazipur border for hours.

"I have travelled from Uttarakhand to meet my 78-year-old father who is admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. My family and I have been stuck here since 11 am. It is an extremely frustrating situation for us and we feel angry and helpless," Singh told PTI.

People had to cross the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana on foot.

Satya Prakash from Himachal Pradesh had no idea that the border was sealed for traffic movement.

"We came all the way from Himachal Pradesh on some work. We have to go to Delhi. The bus driver stopped the vehicle at the border from where we are walking towards the city," he said.

Meanwhile, the Red Fort complex was temporarily closed for visitors due to security reasons.

Asked when the 17th-century monument will reopen, an official said "it will be the call of security agencies".

The Delhi police has issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for a month -- banning the assembly of five or more people, processions or rallies and the entry of tractor-trolleys ferrying people.

The Delhi Metro regulated passenger entry and exit at nine stations by shutting some gates.

The commuters were allowed to enter or exit these stations through other gates.

The stations where one or more gates were closed were Rajiv Chowk, Mandi House, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, Janpath, Barakhamba Road, Lok Kalyan Marg and Khan Market, a senior official said.

One gate was closed at the Khan Market station, the official added.

During their protest in 2020, farmers from different states, mainly Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, had staged a sit-in at the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders. They sat there from August 2020 to December 2021.

The police had to rush logistics in 2020 to check the entry of the farmers moving in a procession of tractors.

A senior Delhi police officer said learning from past experience, tight security arrangements were made this time.

The police have also sealed rural roads bordering Haryana to stop the protesters from moving ahead to enter Delhi.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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