The ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ in the national capital on Tuesday, 26 January, that was supposed to be a peaceful show of strength by the farmers protesting against the centre’s three farm laws on Republic Day, witnessed unrest and clashes at several parts.
Visuals of protesters breaking barricades, police blocking roads after a few protesters reportedly changed the route and vandalism of DTC buses emerged from in and around Delhi even as farmer leader Rakesh Tikait told the media that the rallies are being undertaken “peacefully.”
The protesters at Ghazipur, Indraprasth, ITO and parts of Central Delhi were subjected to tear gas-shelling and lathi-charge by the police.
8:30 AM: Protesters Break Barricades to Enter Delhi
Protesting farmers entered Delhi by breaking through police barricades at Singhu and Tikri border points.
The farmers began their rally from Tikri and Dhansa borders, even as the Delhi Police enforced stringent security measures.
Police officials told PTI that that the farmers began the rally despite having permission to conduct it only after the Republic Day parade concludes and moved towards the Outer Ring Road while breaking barricades.
10:30 AM: Unrest at Ghazipur Border
Police used tear gas to disperse farmers attempting to break barricades at Ghazipur border, even as reports of lathi-charge were reported at multiple borders of of the capital. Delhi Police also resorted to lathi-charge at the Chintamani Chowk in Shahdara.
Several protesters were also seen on top of a police vehicles, removing police barricading at Mukarba Chowk in Delhi.
11:00 AM: Nihang Sikhs Join Protests
The involvement of Nihang Sikhs – the armed warriors clad in blue – has been a major highlight of the farmers’ protest against the Narendra Modi government’s three farm laws.
Their presence – not on tractors, but on horsebacks – was not a surprise as agitating farmers at Delhi’s borders undertook a tractor rally on Tuesday morning as India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day.
11:30 PM -12:30 PM: Clashes at Indraprasth, ITO
Violent clashes took place between the protesters and the police at Indraprasth after use of tear gas shells by the latter. The police also used tear gas shells to disperse the protesting farmers at ITO in Central Delhi.
A Delhi Police personnel was rescued by protesters, even as another group demonstrators attempted to assault him at ITO in central Delhi, according to ANI.
Visuals emerging from ITO show police using teargas on protesters and then being chased by the protesters in retaliation.
Sevaral citizens were stranded at ITO after the police blocked the road for normal traffic amid clashes. Many told The Quint that they have been stranded for hours and have no clue when the roads will open. However, speaking to The Quint, a police officer at ITO denied any road closure. “There is no problem at ring Road. There's routine traffic there,” he said.
1:30 PM: Violence at ITO Intensifies
The violence at ITO intensified with the police continuing to fire tear gas shells at the protesters.
Visuals shared by ANI showed tractors being driven by protestors in an unruly manner so as to disperse the police personnel shelling tear gas shells.
A DTC bus, used by the police to block roads, was also vandalised at the site.
2:00 PM: Death of One Farmer; Several Protesting Farmers Reach Red Fort
A protester died near Delhi’s ITO at the rally. The deceased was identified as Navneet Singh from Bajpur, Uttarakhand.
The incident took place near the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg where a toppled tractor was also seen. It is being reported that the farmer was on the tractor that met with an accident.
Meanwhile, farmers attempted to break barricades as they marched towards Red Fort during the rally before finally arriving at the monument to stage protest.
2:30 PM: Farmers Enter Red Fort, Hoist Flag
Several protesting farmers entered the Red Fort in Delhi and waved flags from the ramparts of the fort, even as clashes between farmers and the police erupted in several parts of the national capital amid the ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’.
A protestor even hoisted a flag from the ramparts of the fort.
3:00 PM: Clashes in Nangloi
Protesting farmers clashed with the police in Nangloi. The police tried to disperse the farmers with tear gas shells and lahit-charge.
3:30 PM: Internet Suspended in Parts of Delhi
The Ministry of Home Affairs temporarily suspended internet in Singhu border, Ghazipur border, Tikri border, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and adjoining areas from 12:00 hours to 23:59 hours.
In an order, the government has cited “maintaining public safety and averting public emergency” as the reasons for suspending internet.
4:41 PM: Home Minister Amit Shah Briefed of Situation in Delhi
Union Home Minister Amit Shah took stock of law and order situation in Delhi from senior Home Ministry officials, sources told news agency ANI.
7:30 PM: Farmers' Union Calls Off Tractor Rally Protest
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) called off the Kisan Republic Day Parade with immediate effect and appealed to all participants to immediately return to their respective protest sites.
The SKM announced the movement will continue peacefully and further steps will be discussed and decided soon.