Violence marred farmers’ tractor rally on Tuesday as protesters clashed with police at multiple places in Delhi and entered the iconic Red Fort.
Protesting farmers deviated from pre-decided routes, which prompted police personnel to resort to lathicharge and tear gas. Many cops were injured in the violence that broke out amid the 72nd Republic Day celebrations in India.
Protesting farmers at Delhi border points clashed with police early Tuesday morning as they broke barricades to force their way into the city much ahead of the time the cops had told them to enter. Thousands of farmers entered Delhi from Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri border points amid heavy deployment of police.
Delhi Police had on Sunday allowed the tractor rally after the annual Republic Day parade. The protesters were told they can’t disrupt the celebrations at Rajpath even as the farmers insisted their parade will be “peaceful”.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November 28, demanding a repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.
Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP (minimum support price) and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.