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Additional Paramilitary Troops Deployed in Delhi After Violence During Farmers' Tractor Parade

Police uses tear gas to disperse farmers attempting to break barricades at Ghazipur border. (PTI)

Police uses tear gas to disperse farmers attempting to break barricades at Ghazipur border. (PTI)

The decision was taken at a highlevel meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava among others.

In the wake of farmers' tractor rally turning violent, the Centre on Tuesday decided to deploy additional paramilitary troops in Delhi to restore peace and maintain law and order, officials said. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava among others.

Additional paramilitary troops will be brought in for deployment in sensitive places in Delhi, a home ministry official said. The exact number of additional troops was not known immediately but officials suggested that it could be around 1,500 to 2,000 personnel (about 15 to 20 companies).

Around 4,500 paramilitary personnel were already deployed for law and order duties before the Republic Day. Earlier in the day, the Home Ministry decided to temporarily suspend the internet in parts of Delhi like Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi and their adjoining areas for 12 hours from Tuesday noon.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 7 of the Indian Telegraph Act 1855 and in the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency, it is necessary and expedient to order the temporary suspension of internet services in the areas ... in Delhi from 12:00 hours to 23:59 hours on January 26," an order issued by the MHA said. Rapid Action Force personnel have also been repositioned in the national capital and vigil has been intensified in view of the evolving situation.

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Earlier, the union home secretary briefed the home minister about the situation in Delhi where the farmers' tractor rally against the agri laws turned violent, the official said. The home minister reviewed the situation after hundreds of protesting farmers on tractors barrelled through police barricades to enter central Delhi areas, including Red Fort and ITO.

The home secretary and the police commissioner also apprised Shah about the steps being taken by the police to maintain peace, another official said. A few other officials were also present at the meeting.

Wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered the city from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole there on Republic Day. Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, since November 28, demanding a complete repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.

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