Heightened security in Delhi as farmers’ protest affects commuters

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Delhi Chalo
File photo of farmers during the protests at Delhi border in 2020. (Photo by Rupinder Singh on Unsplash)

New Delhi: Amidst the ongoing “Delhi Chalo” agitation led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, security measures have been significantly intensified as protesting farmers attempt to march to the national capital. On Wednesday, extensive personnel deployment and barricades were observed in central Delhi and at border points with Haryana, causing potential disruptions for commuters.

Traffic movement at Singhu (Delhi-Sonipat) and Tikri borders (Delhi-Bahadurgarh) has been suspended, with security personnel in anti-riot gear and the utilisation of drones to monitor the situation. Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur borders are fortified with multiple layers of barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and container walls, as reported by PTI.

Also read: ‘Delhi Chalo’ – why are the farmers protesting?

Officials have indicated that security arrangements at border points and central Delhi may be further enhanced if necessary, potentially compounding difficulties for commuters. The “Delhi Chalo” agitation seeks to exert pressure on the BJP-led Centre for various farmer demands, including a law on minimum support prices for crops and loan waivers.

Incidents on Tuesday included farmers from Punjab facing tear gas shells, some dropped by a drone at Haryana-Punjab border points as they attempted to breach barricades. Despite facing obstacles at the Punjab-Haryana border, the protesters persisted in their efforts.

The extensive barricading at border points and parts of Delhi resulted in sluggish traffic in the Delhi-National Capital Region on Tuesday. Metro commuters also encountered challenges with the closure of some gates at nine central Delhi metro stations. Additionally, the Red Fort complex temporarily closed for visitors.

To maintain order, the Delhi Police has issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), prohibiting assembly of five or more people, processions, rallies, and the entry of tractor-trolleys ferrying people. Notably, during the 2020 protest, farmers staged a sit-in at the Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders, prompting logistical interventions by the police to manage the procession of tractors.

(with agency inputs)

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