Representational image. PTI
Farmers' Protest LATEST Updates: Reports quoted the Haryana directorate of information and public relations as saying, "Haryana Government has suspended internet services except voice calls in Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat, Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Fatehabad, Rewari and Sirsa till 5 pm on Saturday."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed the Centre over the Republic Day violence on 26 January.
"Who permitted farmers to enter the Red Fort? Is it not the Home Ministry's duty to stop them from entering the Fort. Instead of doing something for the farmers and help them get the best, the government is threatening them, beating them and sending agencies after them. If left to the farmers, they will not be able to negotiate with big marketing companies and big buyers. Farmers will be at a loss," he said in a press conference.
Multi-layered security arrangements, barricades put everywhere and all entry points sealed, Singhu border, the nerve-centre of the ongoing farmers protest with thousands of security personnel seen marching at the site, turned into a fortress on Friday.
The heightened security measures and restrictions have been brought into place after violence on Republic Day that left 394 policemen injured and one protestor dead. No one, even media personnel, are allowed to enter the protest site with area cordoned off by multiple concrete barricades and intermodal containers.
Clashes broke out between protesting farmers and a group of locals at the Singhu border on Friday as police resorted to lathicharge and used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Alipur SHO Pradeep Kumar claimed that he was attacked with a sword by a protester and suffered injuries on his forearm. The person has been detained.
Several farmers from parts of Haryana on Friday decided to move towards Delhi borders to join the ongoing agitation against agri laws and held protests against lookout notices to peasant leaders and the Ghaziabad administration's ultimatum to vacate protest site.
The farmers claimed that issuing the lookout notices and asking the farmers to vacate the site will not weaken the ongoing agitation against the Centre's new farm laws.
A number of farmers from Jind, Rohtak, Kaithal, Hisar, Bhiwani and Sonipat will be heading towards various protest sites at Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, farmer leaders from Haryana claimed.
Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday visited the Ghazipur border, where farmers are protesting against three recent farm laws of the Centre, to check the arrangements made for them by the city government.
Talking to reporters, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said the farmers' protest has full support of the Delhi government.
"The AAP supports the protesting farmers and I have come here to check the arrangements made by the Delhi government. I have checked the arrangements of drinking water, toilets and other basic amenities for the farmers," he said.
Sisodia said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait had spoken to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and asked for basic amenities.
"On the orders of the chief minister, the arrangements were made at night," he said.
The Ghaziabad administration gave an ultimatum to the protesting farmers on Thursday night to vacate the UP Gate protest site, but Tikait remained adamant, saying he would commit suicide but will not end the stir.
Hundreds of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members stayed put on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Friday, notwithstanding the Ghaziabad administration's ultimatum to vacate the UP Gate protest site.
More farmers are joining in from western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, following an emotional appeal made by Tikait, who has defiantly held his ground.
Tension prevailed at the protest site throughout Thursday as police and paramilitary forces in anti-riot gear conducted flag marches on either side of it.
However, excess forces were removed later at night.