Policeman stabbed, tear gas fired: What we know so far about Singhu border chaos
Singhu border, the nerve-point of farmers' protest, became a flashpoint as farmers and local residents clashed over the ongoing agitation against the three farm laws on Friday, days after the violence in the Capital on Republic Day.
While the farmers insist on camping at Delhi's northern border seeking the repeal of the three contentious farm laws, local residents have lodged their discontentment over the clogging of roads in the area due to the farmers' protest.
The group claiming to be locals demanded that the farmers vacate the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites around the national capital, alleging that they had "insulted" the national flag during their tractor parade on Republic Day, reported news agency PTI.
Here is what you need to know about Friday's development at the Singhu border:
- Police resorted to tear gas and baton charge on Friday to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites against farm laws.
- Delhi Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal was injured in the violence after a man attacked him with a sword. Some people were also wounded in the incident, officials said. The accused has been detained by the police.
- The locals demanding that the site occupied by the farmers be vacated. They also shouted slogans like ''Khalistan Murdabad'', "Tirange ka apmaan nahi sahega Hindustan" (India will not tolerate the insult of the Tricolour), reported news agency PTI.
- The back-to-back incidents of clashes have forced the Delhi Police to heighten the security at the Singhu border with Haryana.
- The area was cordoned off by multiple concrete barricades and intermodal containers on Friday morning. Police officials barred the entry to the vicinity, even for the media personnel, from entering the protest site.
Why are the farmers protesting:
The protests, the longest such demonstration in decades of Independent India, entered their third month and show no signs of abating as the farmers have refused to halt them.
They are protesting against the three farm laws passed by Parliament in September which essentially change the way farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a network of decades-old, government marketplaces, allowing traders to stockpile essential commodities for future sales and laying down a national framework for contract farming.
These laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. The farmers claim these laws will benefit big corporate houses. The government has tried to allay these fears, saying that it is ready to discuss changes to the laws and has made it clear that it won’t scrap them.