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Security tightened after locals, farmers clash at Singhu border

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By Praveen Dwivedi

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) After a clash broke out between protesting farmers and residents of nearby villages at Singhu border on Friday afternoon, the area in the vicinity was turned into a police cantonment as extra police force were immediately deployed to control the situation.

Following the stone-pelting incident, Delhi police barricaded the area and barred entry towards the protest site. However, scores of people claiming to be local residents, most of them holding lathis (sticks) on their hands were still present there and they were seen shouting slogans against protesting farmers.

Many of them who claimed to be the residents of the nearby village spoke to IANS and alleged that the farmers had insulted the national flag during tractor rally on January 26.

One of the residents said, “The farmers have blocked the main road from the day one of this protest. People of nearby villages have to take different to routes to commute. Daily services are almost shut here. We supported farmers but they insulted our national flag and therefore, now we want them to vacate this place immediately.”

A group of locals pointing out at the top of the Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial, a complex for tourist attraction located nearby the protest site, said, “They have hoisted religous flags over there. Is this the way of protesting?”

Howver, all the religious flags were later replaced with the national flag by a group of locals with the help of the police.

Justifying the hoisting of religious flags, one of the farmers said, “Our religious flag keeps us united and we find nothing wrong in hoisting it on top of the building.”

However, the farmers alleged that those who pelted stones were not local residents but a group of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) volunteers. Farmers alleged the Modi-led Central government of defaming the peaceful farmers’ protest. “Those who attacked today were not local residents. All local residents have been with the farmers since the beginning of protest. They were RSS people and they were allowed to enter the protest site by the police. Situation would have worsened if stone-pelters would have reached the stage,” said Amrjeet Singh, one of the farmers who sustained injuries due to stone-pelting.

–IANS

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