As Delhi geared up for Republic Day celebrations, thousands of farmers at Singhu and Tikri borders entered the national capital on Tuesday, breaking down barricades and marching in with flags and banners.
A large number of security personnel have been deployed at several border points in Delhi ahead of the tractor rally, planned as part of the farmers’ agitation, which has been allowed to be held after the Republic Day parade at Rajpath.
The tractor rally, termed the Kisan Gantantra Parade, was expected to get under way after 12 noon. However, protesters in large numbers gathered at the borders from 8 am.
Sources reported that more than 5,000 protesters near the Singhu border were marching to Outer Ring Road. Farmers’ leaders have asked protesters to remain calm and will meet with the police to decide the timing of the tractor rally.
Three routes have been cleared for the farmers to hold the parade―63-km route near Singhu Border, 62.5 km-long route from Tikri border, a 68-km long route from Ghazipur border that divides Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
Farmers have been in a sit-in protest at various border points in Delhi to protest against the controversial farm laws passed by the government since November. Several rounds of talks between the government and farmers’ unions have been held, but have failed to end the standoff. Farmers have demanded that the government repeal the so-called reforms, terming them ‘black laws’.
The agitating farmers have been allowed to hold the tractor rally after the Republic Day parade at Rajpath that will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, among other leaders. This year’s celebrations are a scaled-down affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.