Farmers' march: Red Fort temporarily closed for visitors, says ASI official

Red Fort Temporarily Closed Amid Farmers' March
Red Fort
Red Fort

New Delhi | The Red Fort complex has been temporarily closed for visitors due to security reasons, a senior ASI official said on Tuesday, amid a massive deployment of police and paramilitary forces in central Delhi in view of the farmers' march.

The Mughal-era monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in old Delhi, was "suddenly sealed" late Monday night "due to security reasons", the official said.

Heavy security has been deployed around the complex since late last night and it has been "closed for visitors", the official of the Archeological Survey India (ASI) told PTI.

Asked when the 17th-century monument will reopen, the official said that "it will be the call of security agencies".

Security in Delhi has been intensified with multi-layer barricading, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers at border points to stop the 'Delhi Chalo' march of farmers from entering the national capital on Tuesday, after talks between farm leaders and the Centre remained inconclusive.

The Outer Ring Road leading towards the Red Fort has also been barricaded as police do not want to take any chance this time around, unlike the last time when a large number of protesting farmers had entered the central part of Delhi on January 26 in 2021 when India had marked the anniversary of its Republic Day.

On that day, a section of agitating farmers had entered the Red Fort complex and climbed on to its ramparts.

The fresh round of protests seek to press the Centre to accept farmers' demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Apart from sealing the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of Delhi, police have put up multiple layers of barricades at various roads leading to the Parliament and the central part of Delhi.

The Red Fort, on regular days, is closed every Monday.

There are over 170 monuments in Delhi, protected under the ASI, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites -- Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar; Safdarjung Tomb, Purana Quila, Tughlakabad Fort, Hauz Khas, Jantar Mantar and Firoz Shah Kotla.

According to officials, on regular days, the Red Fort gets an average daily footfall in the range of 8,000-12,000 while the Humayun's Tomb gets 6,000-10,000. However, the Humayun's Tomb attracts more foreign visitors in general, they said.

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