Mobs arrive at Singhu, Tikri to force farmers out, clashes follow

Mobs arrive at Singhu, Tikri to force farmers out, clashes follow

Internet suspended in 17 Haryana districts

New Delhi: A group of over 200 people threw stones and vandalised tents erected by farmers at the Delhi-Haryana border in Singhu on Friday. At least two police personnel were injured, including Delhi Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal, in clashes at the site which prompted the police to use tear gas shells and resort to lathi-charge.

The people who entered the protest site also tried to vandalise other infrastructure such as farmers’ washing machines, demanding that the farmers vacate the protest site. Both sides threw stones at each other.

Shortly after the clashes at the Singhu border, similar scenes were reported from Tikri, another Delhi-Haryana border, where a group of people began opposing the farmers’ protest and demanded they vacate the site. The people said they will not let the national flag be “insulted”, referring to the Red Fort violence on Republic Day.

On Thursday, in Haryana’s Karnal, about 96 km from Singhu, farmers who had been protesting for nearly two months there were told to leave. A group of people gave them a 24-hour ultimatum, saying they were facing inconvenience because of the protests.

At the Ghazipur border in east Delhi, Rakesh Tikait’s Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) called a “Mahapanchayat” amid backlash over Tuesday’s violence during their tractor rally in Delhi.

Last evening, the administration in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana ordered cops to remove thousands of farmers who have been protesting at various points outside Delhi against three central laws for over two months.

Hundreds of BKU members stayed put on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Friday as the crowd swelled there overnight, notwithstanding the Ghaziabad administration’s ultimatum to vacate the UP Gate protest site.

On a call of the BKU, more farmers from western Uttar Pradesh districts such as Meerut, Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad and Bulandshahr reached the UP Gate by early morning to join the stir, even as the security forces at the protest site thinned out overnight. A confrontation was building up at the UP Gate in Ghazipur even as frequent power cuts were witnessed on Thursday evening at the protest site, where BKU members, led by Rakesh Tikait, are staying put since November 28 last year.

Meanwhile, a massive crowd gathered for a farmers’ “mahapanchayat” or meeting called by Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Naresh Tikait in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar town.

The Haryana government on Friday issued an order to suspend internet services in 14 districts till 5 pm on Saturday, taking the number of districts with such shutdowns to 17.

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