NEW DELHI: Thousands of Indian farmers fought pitched battles with police across New Delhi on Tuesday, as they took protests against agriculture reforms into the capital during a giant Republic Day military parade.
Police laid on one of their biggest security operations in years in a bid to keep demonstrators away from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other government and military leaders. However, after barging through barricades on main roads into the city, convoys of farmers on tractors took over Delhi landmarks and debris-strewn streets were left in clouds of tear gas.
One farmer was killed in what police said was an accident after his tractor overturned. Police said they suffered “many” casualties but gave no figures. At the 400-year-old Red Fort, farmers put up their own emblem on the flagpole where India’s tricolour normally flies on national days. They were chased out by security forces.
It was earlier reported that Khalistan flag was hoisted atop the Red Fort. However, upon investigation, it was found to be the ‘Nishan Sahib’, which bears a close resemblance to the Khalistan flag but has a very different symbolic meaning.