Police bolster security on borders, inside Delhi as farm protests set to resume | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Police bolster security on borders, inside Delhi as farm protests set to resume

Feb 21, 2024 05:51 AM IST

Over 2,000 security personnel are expected to man the Singhu border where the first layer of barricading includes rows of enormous jersey barriers

The Delhi Police on Tuesday bolstered security arrangements at the three main borders — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — apart from the others adjoining Haryana and Uttar Pradesh from where farmers are expected to enter the Capital to press for their demands. The farmers are set to resume their march towards Delhi on Wednesday after the fourth round of talks ended in a deadlock on Sunday.

Officers said that elaborate arrangements were already in place and that security forces were only sprucing up the preparations on Tuesday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Officers said that elaborate arrangements were already in place and that security forces were only sprucing up the preparations on Tuesday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Senior officers aware of the matter said security forces had made elaborate arrangements on February 13 when the farmers first announced their march to the Capital, adding that they were only sprucing up the preparations. The Delhi Police imposed sweeping security restrictions at the time hampering traffic movement in the Capital and immobilising those looking to travel between Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad, even as the farmers had begun their march nearly 200km away.

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Over 2,000 security personnel are expected to man the Singhu border where the first layer of barricading includes rows of enormous jersey barriers with protruding nails, iron barricades lined with strings of concertina wires, dumper trailers packed with

sand, apart from cranes and earthmovers. Several shipping containers were also parked at the site ahead of February 13. Security personnel guarded with riot gear, tear gas shells and the Delhi Police’s riot vehicle VAJRA were also in place.

A Delhi Police officer, asking not to be named, said: “For the last few days when the talks were underway, deployment of personnel at borders was reduced while the fixtures like barricades, dumpers and containers remained in place. On Wednesday, the force will be deployed again and all units will be on alert.”

At the Ghazipur border, over 1,000 personnel will be deployed with two layers of jersey barriers, the gaps of which have been packed with cement. Officers said that heavy vehicles are on standby to create a third layer of barricading if needed. “The main carriageway is open. A decision would be taken in real-time in case of changes,” a second officer said.

Nearly 5,000 personnel are expected to man the Tikri border. The 2 km-long fencing includes cemented barricades and shipping containers. The entry and exit points of Tikri Border Metro station have also been barricaded, the second officer said.

“On February 21, we will peacefully start our march towards Delhi. We appeal to the Centre to resolve our issues by holding talks or let us march to Delhi by removing the barricades on the Punjab-Haryana boundary,” farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher, coordinator of the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, told the media at Shambhu border.

While traffic has largely been smooth at the Ghazipur border and only a single lane was blocked by police. Vehicular traffic has been completely shut at Singhu and Tikri borders since February 13. However, commuters are allowed to travel between Delhi and Haryana from diverted routes and vehicles are diverted to arterial roads at the two borders, a traffic police officer said.

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“There are over 25 small borders around Ghazipur and Chilla which personnel are manning. While the decision on traffic diversions will be taken real time, all arrangements are being made keeping in mind that minimum inconvenience is caused to commuters,” the traffic police officer said. The Delhi Traffic Police did not issue any fresh advisory on Tuesday.

For 2-3 days after February 13, key stretches near Singhu and Tikri borders reported traffic snarls during morning and evening peak hours because of the security arrangements.

The shipping containers on the carriageway from Singhu border to Mukarba Chowk left only a single lane for vehicles, leading to hours-long congestion. Nangloi Road, Paschim Vihar Road, Baba Ramdev Marg, and Rohtak Road also reported hour-long traffic jams as the Tikri border was sealed. However, the road situation eased after the farmers halted the march and the talks were underway. The shipping containers on GT Road were eventually put on the side of the road. “Decision on whether they would be installed again will be taken real time depending on intelligence inputs,” the traffic officer added.

Officers said they were not expecting major traffic snarls on Wednesday but the “situation is dynamic”.

The protests are being helmed by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, which gave the initial “Delhi Chalo” call.

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