02 Feb 2021: Delhi Police denies giving approval for 'metal lathis,' seeks explanation
With the farmers' protest turning violent, Delhi Police was spotted with an "upgraded protective gear" yesterday. In a viral picture, cops were seen carrying metal lances and wearing arm guards.
As the image sparked conversations, Delhi Police on Tuesday said it hadn't given any permission and that the policemen took the initiative independently.
The unit in question has been asked to explain its actions.
Context: Facing swords in agitation, cops found a 'new weapon'
The viral image confirmed that Delhi Police personnel have finally found a way to protect themselves from sword attacks, which have become common in the farmers' protest.
Swords were spotted on Republic Day, when the tractor rally descended into chaos, and also on Friday, when a man, believed to be a farmer, attacked a police officer at the Singhu border.
Details: No formal orders have been given: Delhi Police
While last week's episodes revealed the extent of danger faced by cops, the one from Monday indicated that they found a solution. But looks like the "protective gear" is not changing after all.
Speaking on the matter, a spokesperson for Delhi Police said, "The images were from Shahdara district. A local officer asked for these metal lathis without seeking approval from any senior officers."
Fact: 'No scheme to provide cops with steel lathis'
"As soon as senior officers found out, these (the metal weapons) were taken back. There is no scheme to provide policemen with steel lathis," the spokesperson told NDTV.
Arrests: 44 people were arrested over violence at the Singhu border
Notably, the Delhi Police arrested 44 people, including the man who brandished a sword, in connection to violence on Friday.
Clashes had broken out at the Delhi-Haryana border when locals demanded farmers to vacate the area. The locals argued that farmers disrespected the National Flag on January 26.
After both groups hurled stones at one another, police resorted to firing tear-gas and lathi-charge.
Details: Meanwhile, Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri were turned into fortresses
On a related note, the three epicenters of the farmers' agitation — Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri — have been turned into fortresses; with multiple barricades installed.
Slamming the elaborate arrangements, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of several farmers' groups, said the government was "attacking" the protest.
The body also declared farmers won't talk with the government until the harassment ends.