Over 2,000 teargas shells were fired by the Delhi Police on January 26, when hundreds of protesters forced their way into the capital and stormed the Red Fort, The Indian Express has learnt. Around 510 police personnel sustained injuries and are recuperating in the hospital.
Sources said a day after the violence, a report on the action taken was filed by a senior police officer and submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In the report, police said, it was also explained how Nihangs (traditional Sikh warriors) were seen standing at Singhu border and that protesters used “modified” tractors.
Data provided by some districts revealed that at the Ghazipur border, which comes under the jurisdiction of the East district, 210 teargas shells were fired. In Central district, 200 teargas shells were fired by police at ITO to stop protesters who came from the Ghazipur border.
“Police personnel from New Delhi, Southeast, Northeast, Southwest and Rohini districts went to help other districts. A total of 100 teargas shells were fired by New Delhi and 72 by Southeast district police. None were fired by Northeast, Southwest, and Rohini districts,” a senior police officer said.
Sources said the Singhu and Tikri borders come under the jurisdiction of the Western zone, and they fired around 1,775 teargas shells. Districts such as Outer-North (Singhu), Northwest (Mukarba Chowk), Outer (Tikri) and Dwarka (Tikri) all are part of Western zone. Some districts — North, South, Shahdara — have not provided details.
Addressing a press conference on January 27, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava had said police personnel chose to show restraint: “Farmers were told to start the rally after 12 pm and not to carry any firearms or swords. At 7.30 am, farmers at Singhu started the march. Their leader Satnam Singh Pannu made provocative speeches. Farmers then broke barricades. We maintained restraint. We had all options but chose to show restraint… because we did not want loss of lives.”
Meanwhile, a 60-year-old man, Sukhdev Singh from Chandigarh, was arrested in connection with the Red Fort violence. A reward of Rs 50,000 had been announced for his arrest.
“Video footage showed him leading a mob towards Red Fort. Till date, police have arrested 126 persons and registered over 44 FIRs in connection with the violence. We are making arrests on the basis of video footage recovered. We have over 2,000 video footage from the spots and are identifying people,” a senior police officer said.