Around 100 protesters gathered in front of the Tikri border protest site on Friday demanding that the farmer protests end, with things becoming tense after they made their way to the main site from inside Tikri village.
Among them was Dalbir Singh Mathur who, according to the outer Delhi BJP district president Bajrang Shukla, is his district general secretary.
Chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Khali Karo’, the men, many of whom claimed to be from nearby villages in and around Tikri and Mundka, also carried placards that read: “Tirange ka apman nahi sahega Hindustan, Tikri border khali karo.”
Mathur, whose social media profile also indicates his work with the BJP, said, “These people are desh virodhi. Tirange ka apmaan kar rahe hain, hum isliye aaye hain (these people are anti-national. They are disrespecting the national flag, that’s why we have come here).”
The protesters staged the protest in front of police barricades and then proceeded to go inside Tikri village, from where they took a route that opened near the main stage area. This is when things came to a head, with farmers at the site with sticks in hand sloganeering as well. As both sides began pushing and pulling, Delhi Police personnel separated the two groups. Eventually, the group left the scene and farm protesters barricaded the entry point near the stage with barbed wire.
Delhi BJP media head Naveen Kumar said BJP had not organised the protest. “The local residents are tired, so are traders and industrialists. We did not officially organise this but slowly these residents shall come onto the streets,” he said. He also claimed that AAP members were seen at Red Fort on January 26.
Others said they weren’t linked to any political party but their daily lives had been interrupted by the protest. They said they had tolerated it but wouldn’t anymore, given what happened at the Red Fort on Republic Day. Joginder Singh (58), an ex-serviceman living at Tikri village, said, “These people are creating a lot of problems. The tractor rally didn’t have some unruly elements, they were all in it together.”
Animesh Devnag (35) from Baba Haridas Nagar, which neighbours Tikri village towards the Delhi side, said, “I run a cosmetics store. For two months I have had no customers. These protesters are going in and out of our villages too much.”
The farmers, meanwhile, said they will not fall into this “trap”. K D Pathak, 25, from Hisar district in Haryana, said, “These people are trying to incite us. There are thousands here. They want us to attack them so that we are defamed.”
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