Delhi: Delhi Police on Tuesday used tear gas shells and resorted to baton charging to disperse farmers, at Nangloi area in West Delhi, who entered the city as part of their Republic Day 'tractor rally' protest against the Centre's new agricultural laws.
Security personnel also used lathi-charge to push back the farmers who had broken down police barricades at Nangloi Chowk and moved towards the Peeragarhi flyover, deviating from the route they had agreed to follow for the protest.
"Protesters turned violent at some places. Many police personnel were injured and public properties also damaged. Police exercised restraint and used force only when needed," Delhi Police PRO Eish Singhal said.
Singhal also appealed to protesters to return to the routes pre-agreed for their 'tractor rally' and maintain peace. Joint Commissioner of Police, Nangloi, Shalini Singh said, "Since morning we had been appealing to farmers to go by pre-approved route but some of them broke police barricades, attacked police personnel."
Police appealed to the farmer unions to help maintain peace. "We have appeal[ed] to farmer unions to help maintain peace. This isn't a peaceful protest on Republic Day," Singh added.
A protesting farmer died after his tractor overturned at Central Delhi's ITO during the farmers' tractor parade on Tuesday, police said. They said the details about the deceased are yet to be gathered.
The man died as his tractor overturned at ITO where many farmers participating in the parade had reached from the Ghazipur border after taking a detour of the pre-agreed route for the march, a senior police officer said.
Police said the man was driving the tractor and he came under the vehicle as it overturned.
The farmers draped the body in the tricolour and kept it at the ITO crossing, not allowing the police to send it for post-mortem. The farmers also reportedly lashed out at the mediapersons covering the incident.
Suspension of internet services
As clashes between the farmers and Delhi Police intensified during protests against the Centre's three new farm laws, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Tuesday closed entry and exit gates of all stations of the Grey Line- Dwarka to Najafgarh in the western part of Delhi were shut.
The centre also ordered a suspension of internet services at the national capital's border points - Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and areas adjoining these protest hubs due to the tense security situation in the city.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.