Updated: February 2, 2021 8:40:10 pm
Amid questions on the stringent security along New Delhi’s borders as farmers continue their protest against the farm laws, the Delhi Police has defended its barricading methods in the areas.
Addressing reporters Tuesday, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava said he was surprised that ‘fewer questions were raised on the violent events of January 26’, when policemen were attacked and barricades broken by the protesters.
“I am surprised that when tractors were used, police was attacked and barricades were broken on 26th, no questions were raised. What did we do now? We have just strengthened barricading so that it is not broken again,” said Delhi’s top cop.
To prevent more farmers from amassing at New Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the police have placed iron spikes and wooden boards with nails on the roads. The iron barricades have been fortified by concertina wires and double layers of concrete slabs, difficult to move even by tractors.
Commenting on the metal batons purportedly seen being carried by some police personnel, the commissioner said he had no idea about the same, asserting that “steel batons are not a part of police weaponry”.
A day after Shahdara district police distributed 60 lance-like metal batons to police personnel in their district, senior officers from Delhi Police Headquarters Tuesday asked them to roll back the decision to use them as anti-riot equipment, and wait for their approval.
As many as 510 police personnel were injured in the violence associated with protest against the farm laws, SN Srivastava told reporters.
The Delhi Police registered a total of 44 FIRs against protesters in connection with the violence during the tractor march and arrested 122 persons. The police have also sent notices to over 54 farm leaders and 200 tractor owners. Punjabi film actor Deep Sidhu, who campaigned for BJP’s Sunny Deol in 2019 elections, has also come up in videos, addressing crowds about the route for tractor march.
When asked about Sidhu’s involvement in the violence, his whereabouts and arrests, the Commissioner said, “I don’t want to talk about one person or organisation. This all is a part of the investigation. We have also appealed to the general public to send us videos and photos from that day. We have received more than 1,000 video footage and also received photos and mails. We are scanning them and through FIRs we are investigating the matter. I just want to say that whoever has participated in this violence, we will take legal action against them.”
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has announced a new nationwide ‘chakka jam’ on February 6.
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