It was around 11.10 am when the Delhi Police first unleashed water cannon and teargas shells at farmers and members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), who were trying to enter Delhi from the Ghaziabad-Ghazipur border.
Police said they had anticipated a clash, and over 3,000 officers, including paramilitary personnel, were deployed to restrict entry of thousands into Delhi. But as the situation spiralled out of control, senior officers rushed to the spot to take charge.
Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma sought to link police resistance to farmers trying to bring tractors into the capital. “They were allowed to come on foot but there were sections of farmers who wanted to march with tractor-trolleys, which is banned in Delhi as per the Hon’ble Apex Court’s directions. When they broke barricades with tractors, mild force was used to control them,” said Verma.
Police said 20 teargas shells were used and two water cannons were operated. Police alleged the crowd had pelted stones and used lathis, leaving seven officers injured.
The Ghaziabad administration, meanwhile, said schools and colleges will remain shut today.