New Delhi: Violence was reported at the farmers’ protest site in Singhu, after a group of over 200 people broke past the police barricades, pelted stones and tried to uproot the tents where the farmers have been camped since November 28.
While media reports have described the second group as “locals” or a “group of people claiming to be locals”, it is likely that they are members of the Hindu Sena. On Thursday too, activists of the right-wing group had protested at the Singhu border site, giving an “ultimatum” to the farmers to evacuate the area.
According to reports, instances of stone-pelting were reported at 1:45 pm. When the farmers confronted this group of people, the police resorted to a lathi-charge and used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. Two policemen were injured, according to NDTV, and two people detained from the site.
Tension and chaos at #SinghuBorder | Group of 300 people break barricades put up by Delhi Police, uproot farmer tents
NDTV’s Arvind Gunasekar reports from ground zero pic.twitter.com/leShJx5HYU
— NDTV (@ndtv) January 29, 2021
The as-yet unidentified group demanded that the farmers should vacate the Singhu border protest site as they had “insulted” the national flag during their tractor parade on Republic Day, according to news agency PTI. They were armed with sticks and asked the farmers to leave while raising slogans against them.
सिंघू बार्डर पर क्या हुआ:-1)पुलिस ने हर आम व्यक्ति को प्रदर्शन स्थल से 1 किमी दूर रोक रखा था यहां तक की पानी के टैंकरों को 2)पुलिस ने आराम से उन लोगों को जाने दिया जो ख़ुद को लोकल बता रहे थे 3)ये लोग बिल्कुल नज़दीक जाकर देश के गद्दारों जैसे नारे लगाने लगे,किसानों के तंबू तोड़े। pic.twitter.com/AeGiS8NaYS
— Saurabh shukla (@Saurabh_Unmute) January 29, 2021
Questions are being raised about how the group of armed protesters was allowed near the farmers’ protest site, after NDTV journalist Arvind Gunasekar claimed that Delhi Jal Board’s water tankers and even media personnel were not allowed to enter the barricaded area.
DJB water tankers weren’t allowed. Media vans weren’t allowed.
How was this group claiming to be ‘locals’ allowed to enter Singhu border protest site with this vehicle ? pic.twitter.com/hz4vMXliwc
— Arvind Gunasekar (@arvindgunasekar) January 29, 2021
Singhu is one of the main sites where the protesting farmers have camped, demanding that the three farm laws should be repealed.
The Hindu Sena had threatened to unleash violence on the peaceful Shaheen Bagh protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February last year, but called off its march.
Meanwhile, another group of people have gathered at the Tikri border – where some farmers’ groups are camped – to demand that the area should also be cleared.
In visuals shared by the news agency ANI, the group can be seen holding a banner which says, “India will not tolerate wolves dressed in the garb of farmers.” The banner says the protest is being organised by ‘Samasth Dilli Dehat’.
— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2021
There is reportedly heavy police deployment at the Tikri and Ghazipur borders as well.