'Locals' stage protest at Tikri border

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) The Tikri border, one of the epicentres of the agitation against the Centre's farm laws, witnessed tense moments on Friday as a group of people claiming to be locals staging a protest demanding removal of the farmers there.

The group of around 30-40 people from nearby areas, carried national flags and raised slogans against the alleged 'dishonour' of the Tricolour by the farmer protesters on January 26.

'Everyone saw how the national flag was dishonoured at Red Fort during tractor rally by farmers. We cannot allow such elements to stay here and work against the country in the garb of farmers,' one of the group members said.

Heavy police force present on the spot persuaded the group to go back after some time.

'We have nothing against the farmers and their demands. But we also have our rights and problems. Our livelihood has been hit and we cannot move about freely due to closure of the border for over two months,' said another group member.

The agitating farmers alleged that the BJP was behind the protest by the 'so-called' locals.

'After failing to break our resolve to continue the agitation against the farm laws, they are now sending goons to create mischief and disturbance,' one of the protesting farmers Vija said.

In the evening, police further fortified the barricading at the border point by dumping earth and placing concrete blocks to prevent movement of vehicles towards Delhi.

In a similar protest at Singhu Border, police fired tear gas and resorted to baton charge 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. PTI VIT HMB