What was supposed to be a strictly monitored and disciplined rally of tractors today turned into a virtual free-for-all as protesting farmers entered the heart of Delhi, veering several kilometres off the agreed route. Neither the police nor the farmer leaders looked in control of the situation as key locations of the national capital, from ITO to the Red Fort, turned into a sea of tractors and other vehicles.
At some places, the police tried to form human chains to rein in the haphazard formations of the rallyists, but to little effect. In at least one instance, tractors drove into a group of cops, though none was injured.
In the large crowd of protesters gathered in front of the Red Fort ramparts, dozens of those who had been part of the rally could be seen dancing euphorically and raising slogans while scores of others swayed the Tricolour and other flags.
While a majority of the vehicles were tractors, a large number of other vehicles like jeeps and sedans, too, were running amok in the national capital.
Officials said the police personnel are seeking permission to fire at the tyres of the vehicles to slow them down and control the crowd, but permission was denied by higher authorities.