Scores of farmers led by BKU leader Rakesh Tikait were on Sunday stopped by the Delhi Police at the Ghazipur border as they tried to enter the national capital to take part in a protest called by agitating wrestlers outside the new Parliament building.
Permission for the protest has not given to the wrestlers who have been on a sit-in at the Jantar Mantar, demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexually harassing women grapplers.
"All others (farmers) have been stopped (by the police). We will sit here for now and decide what to do next," Tikait, who had spearheaded the anti-farm law protests, said after being stopped by the police at the heavily fortified Ghazipur border. Heated arguments erupted between security personnel and farmers, who tried to break barricades to enter Delhi amid heavy police presence.
A senior police officer said the Ghazipur border has now been closed as a precautionary measure to prevent the farmers' entry into the national capital. There were traffic jams on routes to Anand Vihar and other adjoining areas, and the officer said that necessary traffic diversions have been made.
In the wake of the call for ''Mahila Samman Mahapanchayat'' by the protesting wrestlers, elaborate security arrangements with multiple layers of barricades and pickets were put in place at the Delhi borders to ensure there is no disturbance on the day of the inaugural ceremony of New Parliament building. There was also heavy police deployment at every route especially those leading towards the New Delhi area.
Meanwhile, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deependra Pathak, who was at Jantar Mantar where wrestlers have been on a sit-in since last month, said that Delhi Police has made elaborate and tight security arrangements across the national capital, strategic locations and its bordering areas and would ensure that law and order is maintained.
"Any attempt to create disturbance in the inauguration of the new Parliament building will be dealt with very politely and firmly. I request our respected athletes not to do any such thing today," he said. Pathak also said that the police will not allow anyone to indulge in any anti-national activities on such an important day and will deal with any situation in a professional manner.
Strict vigil was being kept on all Delhi borders entry points with police carrying out checking of vehicles. The Delhi Police had filed two FIRs including one under POCSO Act against WFI president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who has denied all the charges.