Protesters use indigenous methods to fend off drones, tear gas shells at Shambhu border - Hindustan Times
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Protesters use indigenous methods to fend off drones, tear gas shells at Shambhu border

ByKaram Prakash, Shambhu
Feb 15, 2024 08:36 AM IST

On Tuesday, the protesting farmers were taken by surprise as Haryana Police used drones, which were initially deployed to monitor the law and order situation, to fire tear gas shells to prevent them from breaching multiple layers of barricades to proceed towards the national capital

Tennis balls, kites, wet jute sacks, safety goggles and sports gloves – these indigenous items became the weapons of choice for protesting farmers at the Punjab-Haryana border on Wednesday, as they sought to bring down drones used by police to fire tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The protesters were seen covering fallen tear gas canisters with jute bags to contain the smoke. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
The protesters were seen covering fallen tear gas canisters with jute bags to contain the smoke. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

As the farmers from Punjab resumed their efforts for a second day to march towards the national capital, more than two-dozen youngsters took the reins to counter the police’s strategy to fire tear gas shells at Shambhu, along the border with Haryana.

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“We are more prepared today to counter the police action. We want to protest peacefully but the Haryana government seems to be adamant to hurt the peacefully protesting farmers,” a senior farmer leader said.

On Tuesday, the protesting farmers were taken by surprise as Haryana Police used drones, which were initially deployed to monitor the law and order situation, to fire tear gas shells to prevent them from breaching multiple layers of barricades to proceed towards the national capital.

At least 60 farmers were injured in the firing. Visuals from the area showed farmers running towards nearby farmland on the sides of the road as police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse them. Farmer leaders were heard asking protestors to use wet clothes to minimise the impact of the tear gas shells. The protesters were seen covering fallen tear gas canisters with jute bags to contain the smoke.

A day later when farmers resumed their efforts to march towards the Capital, the youngsters were seen flying kites in order to bring the drones down by entangling the unmanned aerial vehicle in the kite strings.

“As of today, we are also fully prepared. We have also made our strategy. We are using kites to shoot down the drone,” farmer leader Ramandeep Singh Mann said.

Farmers also used safety goggles to protect their eyes from the gas emitted by the tear gas shells. Sports gloves helped them to remove the tear gas shells from their protest site.

“Tennis balls are handy to bring the drones down. We used stones on Tuesday but that left several people injured,” Parteek, a young farmer, said.

The protesters stationed water tankers at the site and used wet jute sacks to defuse and reduce the effect of the tear gas shells. As the fired shell landed on the ground, they rushed to cover it with the wet sacks.

Ambala DC refuted reports that the protesters managed to bring down one of the drones.

“Nothing like that has been brought to the administration’s notice,” the DC said and asked the Patiala administration to take action against farmers flying kites using banned Chinese strings.

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