MHA extends internet ban on Delhi borders till February 2

Clay Curtis
February 2, 2021

"Although the government has tried to isolate farmers by using barricades, razor wire and shutting down the internet, we are determined to carry out our peaceful protests", said Rakesh Tikait, president of one of the largest farmers' unions, the Bharti Kisan Union.

While the huge turnout of farmers to join the anti-farm legislations protests at the gates of Delhi refuses to ebb, the Delhi Police have put up new - accentuated - barriers to isolate the protest sites, both in terms of physical access and flow of information.

Security has been stepped up manifold at Delhi's borders on Tuesday, with the deployment of police and paramilitary personnel and the setting up of concrete barricades, razor wires and ditches.

Despite the stringent security arrangements, the protesting farmers and leaders at the site showed no signs of being cowed down and asserted that "these barricades put up around us can't cage our spirit".

Security measures were strengthened with multi-layer barricading and barbed wires coming up on both sides of the highway stretch that has become the Bharatiya Kisan Union's (BKU) camping site since November 28 a year ago in a major farmers' stir over three new farm laws of the Centre.

The Delhi Police on Monday said that they had so far filed 44 cases and arrested 122 people in connection with the violence during the farmers' Republic Day tractor rally.

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Security remained tightened at the Ghazipur and Tikri borders of the national capital in view of the ongoing farmers' agitation against the central farm laws. Another portion of the highway at Singhu border is practically blocked now as a makeshift cement wall has come up there.

This morning, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the government over the issue.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a coalition of farmers' groups, had alleged that over 100 people were missing after the violence, NDTV reported.Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh later said that a helpline would be set up to locate them.

On Monday, the Delhi side of the Singhu border saw a sparse crowd of protesters while the Haryana side was dominated by people making vociferous speeches, denouncing the new farm laws.

In the past week, a planned tractor parade on Tuesday's Republic Day anniversary turned violent when some protesters deviated from pre-agreed routes, tore down barricades and clashed with police, who used tear gas to try and restrain them.

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