Shards of glass, broken turnstiles, smashed security cameras, and ransacked administrative offices. The scale of the damage caused in Tuesday’s mob violence and vandalism after hundreds of protesters stormed the Red Fort is yet to be fully assessed. But most of the damage was seen, as of yet, outside the Red Fort at ticket counters, security posts and baggage scanners. The protesters also vandalised a CISF gypsy.
Visuals from Tuesday’s violence showed police personnel, who were outnumbered, scrambling for cover as the protesters had a free run of the monument. There was vandalism near the ticket counters as protesters ran amok, smashing the panes. Two policemen were rushed out, bleeding from the head.
It wasn’t until night fall that the Red Fort was secured, religious flags removed and protesters made to vacate the premises. A small crowd, however, remained outside the fort chanting slogans before dispersing.
The two-month-old protest by farmer unions, camping at the borders of Delhi to seek the repeal of the Centre’s new farm ordinances, descended into chaos on Republic Day when hundreds of protesters, breaking away from a planned tractor rally on the city’s outskirts, felled barricades at the borders, clashed with police to enter the Capital.
One protester died when his tractor overturned while ramming a road barrier at ITO, and scores were injured, among them at least 150 police personnel, as mobs resorted to violence and vandalism while forcing their way in, around the time the Republic Day parade was underway on Rajpath.
Until Monday night, police and farm leaders had agreed to march from Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur along three designated routes before returning to the protest sites. The agreement, though, was breached by 8 am Tuesday as farmers at the three sites used tractors to knock down police barricades and began moving towards central Delhi.
— Ananya Tiwari (@Ananyati) January 27, 2021
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Wednesday detained around 200 protesters on charges of rioting, damaging public property and attacking police personnel during the Republic Day violence. The police said they are making arrests after conducting proper verification and that 22 FIRs have been registered so far.