Farmers' protest: Singhu Border turns into fortress

Farmers' protest: Singhu Border turns into fortress; no one allowed to enter protest site

SKM has blamed the KMSC, actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu and the central government for the violence during the farmers' tractor parade

An opponent (C) throws a stone at the farmers during clashes as the farmers continue protesting against the central government's recent agricultural reforms clash at the Delhi-Haryana state border in Singh on January 29, 2021. Credit: AFP Photo

Multi-layered security arrangements, barricades put everywhere and all entry points sealed, Singhu border, the nerve-centre of the ongoing farmers protest with thousands of security personnel seen marching at the site, turned into a fortress on Friday.

The heightened security measures and restrictions have been brought into place after violence on Republic Day that left 394 policemen injured and one protestor dead.

No one, even media personnel, is allowed to enter the protest site with the area cordoned off by multiple concrete barricades and intermodal containers.

"These batons, tear gas shells and ammunition can't scare us. We won't budge, we won't leave till our demands of repealing three farm laws are met," said 26-year-old Manjeet Dhillon, from Haryana's Kaithal, while standing on the other side of the barricade. 

Farmers' protest news updates on DH

While there was a sense of unease among some protestors, nothing changed at the respective stages of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti (KMSC), where decibel levels, courtesy the fiery speeches, were high like before.

The SKM has blamed the KMSC, actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu and the central government for the violence during the farmers' tractor parade in Delhi on January 26. 

Ram Bhados, the only shop open at the whole stretch, said he opened it after being asked to do so by the security forces.

"I didn't want to open the shop. I am afraid things might get violent. They (the security personnel) asked me to open the tea-shop and serve them. They said they'll protect me," said the visibly-tensed 18-year-old. 

The tractor parade on Tuesday that was to highlight the demand of the protesting farmer unions for a repeal of three new agriculture laws turned violent as the protesters deviated from the pre-designated routes, attacked police personnel, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag on the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

The police issued lookout notices against farmer leaders on Thursday and announced a probe into the "conspiracy" behind the Republic Day violence.

The police have so far registered 33 FIRs in connection with the violence and issued lookout notices against 44 people, including most of the farmer leaders.