Delhi: Farmers change march route; tractors enter Red Fort
Hundreds of farmers deviated from the route decided by the Delhi Police for their tractor rally on Tuesday, sparking chaos in several areas of the national capital even as the iconic Republic Day parade was underway. Cops were forced to fire tear-gas on farmers, some of whom even swung swords. Over 20 tractors also entered the historic Red Fort in the afternoon, reports NDTV.
Spot visuals: Farmers waved flags from ramparts of Mughal monument
Barricades broken at border points, farmers entered Delhi before time
Despite the Delhi Police underlining that the tractor march, being held to protest against three farm laws, will start after the R-Day parade ends, farmers knocked down barricades at several border points. Barricades were broken at Tikri, Singhu border points as well as on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and in Ghazipur. At the Karnal bypass as well, farmers pushed the barricades aside.
Visuals: Protester, riding a horse, entered Delhi
In Mukarba Chowk, protesters vandalized police vehicles
Separately, the visuals from Mukarba Chowk revealed how chaotic the scenes were. The protesters removed police barricades, hopped on top of a police vehicle, and also reportedly snatched a tear-gas gun. At least seven buses and police vehicles were vandalized; protesters also attacked cops, reports India Today. They were supposed to go toward Kanjhawala but changed the path to the Ring Road instead.
The visuals can be seen here
Meanwhile, DTC bus was also vandalized in ITO area
While horrific scenes played out in parts of Delhi, farmers reached the heart of the national capital and vandalized a green-colored bus of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). As uniformed personnel watched helplessly, hundreds of farmers pushed the vehicle in the ITO area. Several groups of farmers, riding tractors, were also seen knocking down barricades installed opposite the headquarters of Delhi Police.
Here are the spot visuals
Earlier, protesters assured the tractor rally will be 'peaceful'
While allowing the tractor march, Delhi Police had also added that farmers can't disrupt the R-Day celebrations. The permission was given to show respect toward the demands of farmers. In fact, the protesters had also assured the rally will be peaceful and designated path will be followed. However, Dependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) predicted that "mischievous elements" can create a law-and-order situation.
Watch: Cops attacked in Central Delhi, police vehicles vandalized
Farmers' leader claimed he had no knowledge of violence
When asked about the violent situation, Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said, "Rally is going on peacefully. I don't have any knowledge of it. We are at Ghazipur and are releasing the traffic here. (sic)" Considering the volatile situation, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) announced that the entry and exit gates of all stations on the green line have been shut.