- “Huge conspiracy” to disrupt the rally in Delhi, say sources
- The farmers’ bodies have been asked to stay alert
- Security has been heightened at the city’s power stations
Pakistan-based ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and “rogue elements linked to Khalistani outfits” are likely to hijack and disrupt the tractor rally planned by farmers in Delhi tomorrow to intensify their agitation against the new farm laws, sources in the Delhi Police have said, stressing that “a huge conspiracy has been hatched”. The farmers’ bodies have been asked to stay alert after they were allowed on Sunday to take out the rally on Republic Day.
Yesterday, the Delhi Police had said more than 300 Twitter handles have been traced to Pakistan that have been created to sabotage the rally, which was announced earlier this month amid farmers’ standoff with the government.
Across the national capital, security has been heightened at the power stations that are likely to be targeted, say sources, citing a video by banned separatist group – ”Sikhs for Justice”. Delhi Police and other security agencies are also on high alert. Last year, the centre had upheld its ban on the outfit under the anti-terror law – UAPA or Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Radical separatist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s posters are also likely to surface during the rally.
On Sunday, a series of restrictions were announced by the Delhi Police as they allowed the farmers – protesting near Delhi’s borders since late November – to enter the national capital, stressing “they can’t disturb the Republic Day parade”.
The nod came after a series of meetings as the Supreme Court asked the cops to take the final decision in this matter of “law and order”. Earlier, the government has opposed the rally on the Republic Day, saying it would be an “embarrassment for the nation” because of the timing.
A warning was also sounded on Sunday by the Delhi Police. “Over 300 Twitter handles have been generated from Pakistan during January 13 to 18 to disrupt the tractor rally by farmers only by misleading people. There are inputs about the same from different agencies too. It will be a challenging task for us, but the rally will be conducted amid tight security after the Republic Day parade is over,” Deependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence), said at a news conference.
“Mischievous elements can create a law-and-order situation. The 308 Twitter handles originating from Pakistan have been pushing hashtags linked to the farmers’ protest and the tractor rally,” he said.
Farmers’ leaders have insisted the tractor rally will be “peaceful”. In the past, they had refuted claims their protest had been hijacked.
Last week, the government and farmers could not reach an agreement on the controversial farm laws after 11th round of talks was held on Friday. The protesters stuck to their demand of repeal of laws even as the centre offered to stay the legislations for 1.5 years.