New Delhi | Determined to stop farmers' march from entering the national capital, authorities in Delhi on Monday fortified the border points and banned large gatherings to avoid a breach of the law and order situation.
Besides massive deployment of police and paramilitary personnel equipped with anti-riot gears, multiple layers of barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers have been put up at three border points - Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur.
Makeshift jails have also been set up at "specific locations" in view of farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march on Tuesday, an official said.
The Delhi Police is also using drones to keep a tight vigil, the official said, adding that they are fully prepared to deal with any situation.
As traffic restrictions and security measures came into force, the motorists had a hard time commuting between Delhi and NCR towns.
More than 200 farmers’ unions are scheduled to march to the national capital on February 13 to press the Centre for accepting their demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
The Delhi Police has imposed Section 144 for a month, banning the assembly of five or more people, processions or rallies and entry of tractor trolleys carrying people in the city in view of intended widespread tension and "social unrest" due to the farmers' protest march.
The order issued by Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora came into effect on Monday and will be in place till March 12.
It stated that as far as congregation and procession relating to weddings, funerals and other religious functions is concerned, prior permission is required from authority concerned.
During their protest in 2020, farmers from different states, mainly Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, had staged sit-in at the three border points.
Riding tractors and other vehicles, the farmers had sat at the three border points from August 2020 to December 2021.
In 2020, the police had to rush the logistics to check the entry of the farmers moving in procession of tractors.
A senior Delhi Police officer said that learning from past experience, tight security arrangements have been made this time. The police have also sealed rural roads bordering Haryana to stop the protesters from moving ahead to enter Delhi.
Apart from putting up multi-layered barricades, the Delhi Police has issued directions to its ground staff to keep a tab on the situation from the midnight of Monday and Tuesday.
The DCPs of east, outer and outer-north have been asked to brief seniors about developments happening every hour on February 13.
A senior police officer told PTI that barricades have been installed in such a way that this time the farmers would not be able to remove them easily. The cement boulders and roads have been jammed with the concrete.
The officer said unlike last time, the police will restrict entry from the narrow lanes alongside these three borders, once the farmers arrive.
The police of different districts have conducted multiple anti-riot mock drill exercises to use tear gas shells and water cannons in case the protesters manage to break the barricades.
At Tikri and Singhu borders, local residents and shopkeepers fear losses due to farmers' protest.
Looking anxiously as the police set up a five-layer barricade near the Tikri border metro station, Krushna Kumar wondered if he would have to shut shop again like three years ago when the agitation against the farm laws hit life in the area.
The fear of financial losses and other hardships has returned to haunt locals and shopkeepers like Kumar in Delhi's border areas ahead of the farmers' protest march to the national capital on Tuesday.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and others have called the protest to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.