New Delhi, Jan 26 Protesting farmers on Tuesday swarmed the Red Fort during a 'tractor rally' on Republic Day amid police attempts to block them from proceeding towards central Delhi, barged into the 17th century monument, climbed up the ramparts and waved farmer union flags and banners and even hoisted a pennant.
All this happened after thousands of farmers riding tractors and motorcycles thronged the otherwise busy ITO intersection and played cat-and-mouse games with police to proceed towards India Gate.
Police and other security personnel deployed at the Red Fort could be seen lathi-charging the protesters at the monument even as the former were clearly outnumbered by the farmers.
A few youths even climbed up the flagpole on the ramparts of the 17th century landmark and put up a saffron pennant with a religious symbol. Later, a few of them even climbed up further and fixed a farmer union flag near the spot where a bigger Tricolour was aflutter.
After sometime, security personnel succeeded in removing the farmers from the fort ramparts, after which they had skirmishes with the police and also chased them that led to injuries to several farmers and policemen.
Soon, the farmers left the spot and moved towards central Delhi.
Earlier, a young farmer died near the ITO intersection in the central Delhi due to unknown reasons. Fellow farmers sat on protest on the spot along with the body of the deceased, who hailed from western Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier in the day, chaos prevailed near the ITO intersection in central Delhi as hundreds of farmers rallied there. Security personnel were clearly outnumbered by the protesters at the spot.
Other video clips showed farmers chasing away policemen on foot as well with tractors, and trying to remove a DTC bus parked across the ITO road stretch by pushing it out of way with a tractor.
The police fired tear-gas shells and lathi-charged the protesters on different occasions as farmers remained adamant to move towards the Red Fort.
Later, Rapid Action Force and the Border Security Force was also deployed at the ITO intersection.
The farmers, after confrontation with police that lasted for around 40 minutes, moved towards Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, which houses the offices of Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.
( With inputs from IANS )
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