Farmers' protest: Day after violence, Singhu border turns into fortress

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Delhi's Singhu border was fortified with several layers of barricades and increased presence of security personnel on Saturday, a day after violence erupted during a demonstration by 'locals' against agitating farmers sitting there for over two months to demand the repeal of Centre's new agri laws.

The venue on the GT Karnal road, one of the major protest sites, also had a thinner presence than previous days even though protesting farmers asserted that it was 'swelling' with more people from Punjab and Haryana coming to join them.

The entry to the farmers' protest venue was closely guarded by police and para military personnel with even mediapersons finding it difficult to reach there.

A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said 'There is blanket order not to allow free movement across the protest site in view of yesterday's violent protest as any mischief could aggravate the situation.' Police had to fired tear gas and baton charged on Friday to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border.

A police officer had sustained serious injury when attacked by a man carrying a sword.

The GT Karnal road leading to protest site at Singhu border was blocked with five layers of barricades erected by using concrete blocks, that were manned by large numbers of police and para military personnel.

The final barricade near a toll booth at Singhu border was further buttressed with inland containers and concrete blocks and soil was being dumped there to prevent movement of vehicles.

Even a street along the highway was dug up to 8-10 feet and rimmed with concrete blocks to prevent any vehicular movement to and from the farmers' protest venue.

The protesting farmers expressed their resolve to continue the agitation against the Centre's farm laws, saying it will gather momentum in the coming days.

'The presence of farmers had dipped after the incident of violence and vandalism on Republic Day but now more are coming from Punjab and Haryana to join in,' said a protester from Patiala refusing to be named.

Randhir Singh, a social activist from Nabha said the farmers were determined to continue their struggle against the farm laws till the Centre repealed it.

The 'langars' at the protest site were seen to be less crowded, as umbrella organisation of the protesting farmers- Samyukta Kisan Morcha- had given call for a one day fast to observe Sadbhavna Divas (Harmony day) on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday. PTI VIT TDS TDS