Water cannons used on farmers in Sonipat late night

Delhi Chalo: Close to midnight, water cannons used on farmers in Sonipat

Farmers remove a police barrier blocking a road during a protest march to Delhi against the central government's recent agricultural reforms. Credit: AFP

As horrific visuals from the 'Delhi Chalo' protests emerge, farmers coming to Delhi from Punjab and Haryana were hit with tear gas shells and water cannons as the Delhi police beefed up security near its borders, guarding it with stones, vehicles, barbed wire.

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As the national capital and regions around it witness record minimum temperatures, the police on Thursday night used water cannons against farmers in Sonipat, Haryana, an NDTV report said.

Attempting to disperse a group of farmers from Punjab trying to make it to Delhi in protest of the farm laws, the police drenched them with cold water despite freezing temperatures.

The group were talking to the police throughout the evening requesting passage, however, as the night progressed and the farmers made no attempt to leave or step back and police prepared its forces for riot control, according to the report.

A police officer told PTI on Friday, "We are using tear gas to disperse protesting farmers. We are also informing them that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, any kind of rally and dharna is not allowed."

"They have been denied permission and legal action will be taken against them if they still try to enter Delhi," the officer further said.

Punjab farmers, representing over 30 farm bodies, have announced they will enter Delhi through several routes -- Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad and Talwandi-Sirsa to protest the three new farm laws.

(With agency inputs)