UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said it is important to respect peaceful protests, freedom of assembly and non-violence. Guterres’ statement came in the wake of violence and clashes between police and farmers during tractor rally on Republic Day. To a question on the violence in New Delhi, Guterres, during his daily press briefing said, “As we say in many of these cases, I think it’s important to respect peaceful protests, freedom of assembly and non-violence.”
Almost half of the policemen injured in the farmers’ violence on Tuesday were at the Red Fort where police personnel fell or jumped tens of feet down a wall after being pushed to the edge by a marauding mob.
Protesting farmers violated the conditions pre-agreed for their tractor parade and indulged in violence and vandalism, leaving 86 police personnel injured, the Delhi Police said.
As many as 41 policemen suffered injuries at the Red Fort, a senior police officer said.
A video of the incident showing protestors corning the security personnel at an elevated portion of the Red Fort has gone viral on social media.
Policemen could be seen jumping tens of feet of wall to save themselves from unruly protestors or being pushed down by them.
Authorities had also cut power to the Red Fort in order to disperse the farmers from the premises.
Thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO from the Ghazipur border clashed with police. Many of them driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument.
They also hoisted flags on the domes and the flagstaff at the rampart of the national monument at which the national tricolour is unfurled by the Prime Minister on Independence Day.
The entire area saw chaotic scenes for hours as the protesters rampaged pelting stones and police, damaging vehicles and vandalising inside Red Fort. Police tried to control the mob using lathicharge and firing tear gas shells.
In a statement, the police claimed it did all due diligence in following the conditions for the rally, but the protesters began their march much ahead of the scheduled time and extensive damage to public property was caused during the violence by them.
A senior police officer said a total of 86 police personnel were injured in the clashes including 41 at the Red Fort and in the East District.
He said that in the morning at Ghazipur Border, a probationer IPS officer got injured as he along with the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Manjeet tried to stop the farmers from breaking the barricades.
Additional DCP East Manjeet had a close shave as one of the farmers tried to hit him with his tractor but he escaped and did not sustain any injuries, the official said.
The ITO resembled a war zone with a car being vandalised by angry protesters and shells, bricks and stones littering the wide streets, a testimony to the ugly turn taken by the two-month-long farmers’ protests against the agri laws.