A day after clashes broke out between protesting farmers and police in different parts of Delhi, the city police on Wednesday said more than 300 policemen suffered injuries.
Police have filed 22 cases connected with the violence witnessed during the farmers’ “Tractor Rally” carried out on India’s 72nd Republic Day.
In a statement, the Delhi Police has said the clashes took place in central and eastern parts of Delhi and on its borders.
The number of police injured in different parts of the city is as follows: in the outer district of Delhi - 75; in North Delhi - 41; in East Delhi - 39; in West Delhi - 27; in South-West Delhi - 32; in the outer North district - 12; and in south district - four.
Delhi Police has also confirmed that protesters attacked an operator of a senior police official with a sword in central Delhi. Security has now been tightened across Delhi.
Police have also confirmed that permission was granted to the farmer body Sanyukt Kisan Morcha after they gave an undertaking to hold a peaceful rally on Republic Day. Before allowing the farmers' parade, several rounds of talks had been held between police and farmers' representatives.
The detailed statement said mayhem broke out after protesters, who were allowed to hold the parade between 12 noon and 5pm, started their rally early. The police tried to stop them from entering the heart of the capital city and for allegedly violating pre-approved routes and rules.
The time and the routes for the tractor rally were finalised after several rounds of meetings. But farmers drove tractors off the routes and before the fixed time, leading to vandalism in which many police personnel were injured: Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava to ANI pic.twitter.com/Db8zTayCCS— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2021
The protests are being staged by thousands of farmers, mainly from Delhi’s neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, because they want the new farm reforms which were approved by the central government last September to be revoked.
On Tuesday, the farmers' protest turned violent, as "protesters broke barricades, damaged the iron grills and the road dividers [which had been put up for security purposes]", the police force said in its statement.
"They even tried to run over policemen, who were deployed at the barricades," the police said, adding that it was only after the reinforcement of police personnel that the situation was brought under control.
On Tuesday, thousands of protesters had forced their way into the iconic Red Fort and hoist a religious flag of Sikh faith on the main flag poles at the monument. It is from here that the Prime Minister addresses the nation on the occasion of Independence Day (15 August).
At night, the police managed to remove the protesters from inside the Red Fort, which is generally heavily fortified especially on national days or during periods of high alert.
The protesters arrived in India's capital city mainly from Punjab and Haryana to participate in the tractor rally.
The three new farm laws they are demanding be scrapped are: the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce; the Farmers Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services; and the Amendment to the Essential Commodities Act 2020.