Delhi’s Borders Fortified Ahead Of ‘Chalo Dilli’ March By Farmers; Check Intel Alerts
New Delhi: Security has been beefed up in Delhi and its borders with neighbouring states fortified by putting up concrete blocks, following alerts from intelligence agencies regarding potential protests by certain farmer groups in the coming days.
Delhi Police have imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code at the Ghazipur border till March 12. A traffic advisory has also been issued, alerting commuters about restrictions on the movement of vehicles at three borders of the national capital. Traffic restrictions/diversions will be imposed at Singhu Border for commercial vehicles from Monday and for all types of vehicles from Tuesday, it said.
While the primary objective is to prevent any unauthorised gatherings between February 13 and February 15, there are concerns that similar attempts may occur thereafter, leading to the Lok Sabha election this year. On February 13, more than 200 farmers’ unions from across the country are expected to participate in the proposed ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to press the Centre to accept several demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee MSP for crops.
“Information has been received that some farmer organisations have given a call to their supporters to gather/march to Delhi on 13th February for their demands of the law on MSP and others. They are likely to sit at the border of Delhi till their demands are met. In order to avoid any untoward incident and to maintain Law and Order, a precautionary Order of section 144 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, is required to be issued to save the lives and property in the area,” read an order issued by Delhi Police.
Authorities are anticipating a gathering resembling the protests of 2021 and have instructed law enforcement to implement necessary measures to prevent the groups from entering Delhi. Haryana Police are also employing various tactics, including setting up diverse roadblocks, to deter the protesters. A traffic advisory has also been issued, urging people to avoid the main roads of the state unless necessary. Section 144 has been enforced in Panchkula. The Shambhu border (Punjab-Haryana) has been sealed, and BSF and RAF personnel have been deployed. The security has also been tightened near Tikri Border in West Delhi.
Delhi Police also conducted simulated exercises and evaluated their tear gas shells and launchers on Sunday, resulting in numerous complaints from residents of east Delhi about eye irritation. If farmers attempt to enter the Delhi border by crossing Haryana and Punjab in any way, the border will be sealed with cranes and containers, reports said.
On the other hand, Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Home Minister Nityanand Rai, and Piyush Goyal will be meeting the leaders of farmers’ organisations to discuss their demands later in the day.
One of the alerts issued by an agency concerning potential gatherings suggests that protesters could attempt to infiltrate Delhi before February 13 and gather near the residences of the Prime Minister, as well as those of the Home and Agriculture Ministers, according to TOI.
Authorities anticipate that the protesters may try to enter Delhi under the cover of night, anticipating heavy security presence during the daytime. “The protesters may reach New Delhi area in small groups by cars, two-wheelers, metro trains, trains, etc, and appear suddenly at any spot to hold snap demonstrations,” the alert warned.
“Some opposition political parties, trade unions and students’ unions may also support and join the protesters to gain mileage. Security may be upped in New Delhi, North and Central districts like Ramlila Ground, Rajghat, Red Fort, Kisan Ghat and Parliament, besides PM and HM residences, among other places of significance,” read the alert.
Farmers are anticipated to arrive in Delhi via the borders of Shambhu (Ambala), Khanori (Jind), and Dabwali (Sirsa), accompanied by their tractors/trailers, carrying ample provisions, rations, and logistical supplies for a duration of six months, sourced from different locations.
“Some farmers might start early to evade police action and arrive 2-3 days prior to February 13 and hide in prominent gurdwaras, dharamshalas, ashrams and guest houses and hold snap demonstrations. Some farmers may try to enter from remote, non-motorable borders where there is less movement to create an element of surprise. If the protesters are able to gain entry into Delhi, they may not vacate soon,” it added.