Internet services suspended in parts of Delhi after farmers' tractor rally turned violent

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 - 3:02

Internet services were suspended in parts of Delhi in India by the Union Home Ministry after farmers' tractor rally turned violent in the region, leading to the death of one person according to Indian media reports. 

A government order sent to telecom service providers directed the temporary suspension of internet services in areas of Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi and their adjoining areas in the NCT of Delhi from 12.00 hours to 23.59 hours on the Republic Day, according to the Department of Telecom.

The farmers, who want the Centre to withdraw the three farm laws, were given permission by the Delhi Police to hold their tractor rally in the national capital on Tuesday after the Republic Day parade.

The farmers' rally, however, turned violent and several police officials were injured while one protester was killed. Later the police appealed the farmers to maintain peace, asking them to return to their pre-decided route. 

Unprecedented chaos was unleashed upon Delhi on the 72nd Republic Day as the tractor rally by protesting farmers went off the designated course and rolled into the Iconic Mughal-era Red Fort in the Old City.

A protester died on the way, the police said it was an accident.

The farmers entered the forecourt of the fort, climbed its ramparts, and hoisted a religious flag on a mast outside.

The police, wielding batons, managed to remove them from inside the fort. The violence started in the morning as farmers broke barricades and entered Delhi ahead of time. One of the key farmer groups has called off the tractor rally, accusing anti-social elements of being responsible for the violence.

Farmers were given police permission to hold the rally on the periphery of the city after a court battle. The rally -- to be held over 60-odd-km stretches near the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders was expected to enter the city only after the traditional Republic Day parade ended around 11.30 am.

The Centre had opposed the rally in the Supreme Court, contending that its timing will make it "an embarrassment to the nation". But the court, which earlier upheld the farmers' right to hold peaceful protests, handed over the matter to the Delhi Police.

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