Farmers' protest: Internet services snapped in parts of Delhi

Shalini Ojha
·3-min read


26 Jan 2021: Farmers' protest: Internet services snapped in parts of Delhi

The Ministry of Home Affairs, headed by Amit Shah, seen as the number two in the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, suspended internet services till 11:59 pm today at Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi, and their adjoining areas in New Delhi.

This decision was taken after the tractor rally descended into chaos, with protesters defiling the Red Fort.

Here's what happened.

Context: Background: Farmers, protesting since November, planned march on R-Day

Farmers have been protesting at Delhi's borders since November against three laws, passed in the Parliament in mid-September. The government, attempting to convince them about the laws, held 11 rounds of talks with farmers' representatives.

Not budging from their stance, farmers planned a tractor rally on R-Day instead.

The Centre wanted the Supreme Court to halt the march, but it brushed off responsibility.

Series of events: As SC didn't take a decision, Delhi Police allowed march

In a hearing linked to the rally, the apex court said it can't pronounce a decision as it wasn't the "first authority". The Delhi Police was asked to take a call and it did after many deliberations.

Cops said tractors could ply on Delhi's roads, but only while following a designated path. They were asked to start the march after the R-Day parade ended.

Chaos: Barricades were broken, clashes reported, farmers stormed into Red Fort

Earlier in the day, farmers pushed barricades aside at several border points to enter Delhi. Clashes were reported from various areas in Delhi and also from ITO, seen as the heart of the national capital.

By afternoon, the protesters had driven their tractors into the Red Fort and taken over the 17th-century Mughal monument.

Flags, that weren't the tricolor, were hoisted as well.

Lathi-charge: Police resorted to lathi-charge to remove protesters from Red Fort

As per the latest reports, police used lathi-charge to remove the farmers from the Red Fort. Lathi-charge was also reported from the Nangloi area to push back the farmers.

The violence forced Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to also shut the gates of nearly a dozen metro stations.

Entry and exit gates of all stations on the Grey Line were closed.

Fact: Internet services snapped in volatile areas

Statement: As violence dominated headlines, umbrella body condemned acts

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha — the umbrella body of 41 unions steering the protest — released a statement.

"Despite all our efforts, some organizations and individuals have violated the route and indulged in condemnable acts. Anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement. We have always held that peace is our biggest strength and that any violation would hurt the movement," the statement read.

Fact: Don't taint national symbols: Samyukta Kisan Morcha

"We dissociate ourselves from all such elements that have violated our discipline. We appeal strongly to everyone to stick to the route and norms of the parade, and not indulge in any violent action or anything that taints national symbols and dignity," the statement added.

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