On the border of resistance, farmers stay put and police remain alert
At the Singhu Border where protesting farmers either had a choice to shift to the Burari ground in north Delhi or stay behind the Delhi Police barricades since Friday, a few hundred farmers on Monday made slight inroads into the national capital by driving their tractors and trolleys on alternative routes to occupy a few streets in the capital.
Until Sunday evening, the protesters had stayed in Haryana, but by Monday, the police barricades and barbed wires over them did not really mean much. Hundreds of farmers occupied the main crossing of the Singhu Border even as they parked their vehicles on the adjoining roads in Narela -- almost 200 metres from the point they were earlier stopped.
“The police weren’t allowing us beyond the barricades. So, we drove on the inner roads and reached this point,” said Jasvinder Singh, a farmer who arrived from Ludhiana.
So, unlike earlier when there were farmers on the Haryana side of the barricades and police on the Delhi side, the scenes have now changed. Now, there are farmers behind the barricades, then police for the next 200 metres of stretch, another smaller group of farmers occupying the Singhu intersection behind them, and another cordon of the police.
Gaurav Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (outer-north), acknowledged the further push by the farmers and said that they were anyway invited to protest in Delhi. “We are ourselves asking them to go to Burari ground to protest peacefully,” said Sharma.
In contrast, at Tikri Border, the barricades have become more impenetrable and the credentials of people are being checked before they enter or leave the Delhi side. The farmers there have remained strictly behind the barricades and there is limited interaction between them and the police.
A Koan, DCP (outer) did not comment on the situation.
At the Sant Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari, the arrangements for protesting farmers were enhanced by setting up tents on a large section of the ground. But they have mostly remained unused as less than a thousand farmers have chosen to shift to Burari.
The situation at the two border points has remained peaceful after clashes between farmers and police on Friday.
The police said there was no trouble at the Gurgaon and Faridabad borders even as the public continued to face inconvenience at the Jharoda Kalan Border near Dwarka.
The farmers had announced on Sunday that besides the two border points, they will also block the highways from Hapur, Gurugram and Faridabad.
RP Meena, DCP (south-east), said that while checking was on at the Faridabad and UP borders connecting his district, there were no farmers attempting to enter the city from any of those points.
Ingit Pratap Singh, DCP (south-west), too said that the situation at the borders connecting Delhi and Gurgaon were incident-free. “There is no gathering at any of these borders,” said Singh.
But the Jharoda Kalan Border continued to be under strict vigilance. “We are allowing traffic out of Delhi, but anyone entering the city using that route will be inconvenienced as strict checking is being enforced,” said Santosh Kumar Meena, DCP (Dwarka).
The problem persisted there because the Rohtak Flyover on which farmers are moving towards the Tikri Border is just 200 metres from the Jharoda Kalan Border, said the DCP.
The checking of those entering the Burari ground as well as those leaving it too continued to be very strict as the police took down names and phone numbers of those entering the ground as well as checked the credentials of those leaving.
But Vijayanta Arya, DCP (north-west), said that this was nothing unusual and were general crowd control mechanisms. “People have been coming and going as per their wish. There is a floating crowd at the ground,” said Arya.