New Delhi: The national capital has embattled itself for a chakka jam that it may not officially witness today. Although the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has said that 'chakka jam' will not take place in Delhi, UP and Uttarakhand, the authorities in Delhi are not taking any chances.
Ten days after unprecedented violence during a farmers' tractor rally ruined India's Republic Day celebrations in parts of Delhi, the protesters are set to observe a three-hour chakka jam (road block) across the country.
The block, called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) demanding the repeal of three contentious Central farm laws, will come into effect at noon today and will be observed along major national and state highways across the country.
"There will be no road blockade in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand tomorrow; roads will be blocked in rest of the country excluding Delhi. The reason is that they can be called to Delhi any time, so they are kept on standby," Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said. The SKM has however, given exception only to Delhi and said that all protest sites in and around the city are already in chakka jam mode.
Nevertheless, extra security has been deployed and barricades strengthened, which may potentially lead to traffic congestion on many key Delhi roads.
Extensive measures have been undertaken at the three key protest sites around Delhi: Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur.
At Ghazipur, water cannon vehicles are deployed. The Tikri border point has been strengthened with some 20 layers of hurdles including barbed wires, concrete blocks and nets. Even the narrowest of roads leading to or from the area have been blocked. The Red Fort area, the biggest point of disturbance on Republic Day has also received particular focus.
Around 50,000 police, paramilitary, and reserve forces personnel have now been deployed overall in the Delhi-NCR region while at least 12 metro stations have been put on alert, the police have said. Entry into eight such stations has been blocked.
"The arrangements have been strengthened since January 26...Drones have been arranged for an aerial view, CCTV cameras have been installed in sensitive areas," Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of police, told ANI.