NEW DELHI: In a first official statement since morning on the troubled day in the National Capital, the Delhi Police have appealed to protesting farmers to shun violence and go back to their agreed route, while maintaining that the forces have acted in accordance with agreement reached with them at the time of granting permission to hold tractor parade.
The police said till now 18 of their personnel have sustained injuries during the day and of them one is critical.
“Our forces have acted and made arrangements as per the conditions agreed between the farmers’ leaders and the officials. Till now our forces have showed extreme restraint, but protesting farmers have disregarded all the agreed norms for holding the rally,” they said in the statement.
The police alleged that farmers began their rally well before the time agreed upon and have chosen to indulge in violence and other unlawful activities, which led to huge loss of public properties.
“Thus we appeal to them to leave the path of violence and go back to the already agreed route for the tractor rally,” the police statement read.
Delhi’s Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar claimed several attempts were made to run over cops and the law will take its course against those who damaged property and assaulted public servants on duty.
“Elements in today’s protests were very aggressive. Those who assaulted the cops and damaged public property will be dealt with strongly,” Kumar said.
He said several physical barriers were erectedto ensure the tractor parade went to plan plan and the police trusted the farm union leaders who assured a peaceful agitation.
“Many rounds of meetings were held with the leaders and they assured us of the route being followed. Such large demonstrations are based on trust but the trust was betrayed. At Ghazipur, we tried to convince the farmers for two hours to return as per the decided route. We even used tear gas shells but the aggressive farmers violated all agreements and broke barricades marching inside Delhi where the cops and the farmers kept clashing through the day,” he said.
Kumar said the situation in most parts had normalised but several farmers were still in Delhi and the police had appealed to them to return to the Borders.
At ITO, some farmers are still sitting with the body of a protester who died after the speeding truck he was driving turned turtle.
Meanwhile, sources said Commissioner of Police, Delhi, SN Shrivastava, has directed his men to use all might under their control to deal with the trouble makers in all parts of the city and bring things under control.
It is also learnt that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered deployment of 15 additional battalions of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) of which 10 are being drawn from CRPF and five from other forces. One battalion comprises of 100 personnel.