Farmers reneged on their commitment made during talks between Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Delhi Police that they would carry out a peaceful protest on the agreed routes, adding that over 300 police personnel were injured in violence across the city, said Delhi Police. In a statement, the police also claimed it did all due diligence in following the conditions for the rally, but the protesters began their march much ahead of the scheduled time and extensive damage to public property was caused during the violence by them.
So far, over 300 policemen have reported injured and several public and private properties have been damaged in this act of vandalism during the tractor parade by farmers, according to reports.
"The struggle between the police and farmers continued throughout the day until late evening. Most of the incidents were reported from Mukarba Chowk, Ghazipur, A-Point ITO, Seemapuri, Nangloi T-Point, Tikri border and Red Fort," Delhi Police said.
"On January 26, 2021 at about 8.30 am, about 6,000-7,000 tractors had assembled at Singhu borders and they were to reach up to Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and take a right turn. Instead of the agreed upon route, they insisted upon going to Central Delhi and despite persuasion by Delhi Police, the farmers led by Nihangs on their horses fully equipped with deadly weapons like swords, kripans and farsas charged the police and broke several layers of barricades, which were erected between Mukarba Chowk and Transport Nagar," it added.
The police statement came as the national capital witnessed clashes between protesters and police during the tractor parade by farmers to press their demand of repealing the three new agri laws.
"The protesters violated conditions fixed for the rally. The farmers began tractor rally before the scheduled time, they also resorted to violence and vandalism," Delhi Police PRO Eish Singhal said.
"We followed all conditions as promised and did our due diligence but the protest led to extensive damage to public property. Many policemen were also injured during the protest," Singhal said.
Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, said legal action will be taken against those who assaulted the police personnel during the farmers' tractor rally today.
Delhi Police Additional PRO Anil Mittal said, said a total of 86 police personnel were injured in the clashes including at the Red Fort and in the East District.
A senior police officer said that in the morning at Ghazipur Border, a probationer IPS officer got injured as he along with Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Manjeet tried to stop the farmers from breaking the barricades.
Additional DCP East Manjeet had a close shave as one of the farmers tried to hit him with his tractor but he escaped and did not sustain any injuries, the official said.
The injured, including police personnel, were brought to the LNJP Hospital following the clashes on Tuesday. LNJP Hospital is currently a partially COVID-19 facility in central Delhi near ITO.
"Some of them were discharged after administering first-aid. Right now, about 22 of them are admitted, including an SHO and 10 other police personnel," a senior official of the hospital said.
Asked about the nature of injuries sustained, the official said they include leg and arm fractures and cut wounds.
Wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered the city from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort where they climbed the flagpole on Republic Day on Tuesday.
While police used teargas shells to disperse the restive crowds in some places, hundreds of farmers were seen chasing them with sticks at the ITO and the Red Fort and ploughing their tractors into parked buses, barricades and security personnel deployed to maintain law and order at several other places. A protester died after his tractor overturned.
The ITO resembled a war zone with a car being vandalised by angry protesters and shells, bricks and stones littering the wide streets, a testimony to the ugly turn taken by the two-month-long farmers' protests against the agri laws.
Delhi Police is keeping a close watch on the situation. It is also registering cases of violation of lawful directions, rioting, damage to public property and assault on public servant with deadly weapons regarding several incidents reported from various locations.
(With inpiuts from agencies)