Delhi Police have arrested 44 people, including the man who attacked a police officer on Friday, January 29, with a sword during clashes at Singhu border, the epicentre of over two-month-long farmers' protest.
Probing the Republic Day violence, the Delhi Police has asked nine farmer leaders - Rakesh Tikait, Pawan Kumar, Raj Kishore Singh, Tajender Singh Virk, Jitender Singh, Trilochan Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Harpreet Singh and Jagtar Singh Bajwa to join the investigation, NDTV reported.
Thousands of protesters also came out on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Ghazipur, challenging the Ghaziabad administration's ultimatum to vacate the area. Nearly 3,000 security personnel, including those from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), the Rapid Action Force (RAF) in anti-riot gears and civil police, were deployed in and around Ghazipur protest site.
The man with the sword had allegedly attacked a group that had entered the protest site in Singhu, despite heavy police deployment, vandalised the protesters' tents and farmers' amenities. The police had to resort to tear gas shells and use batons to when the violent clash broke out. Several people including Delhi Police officer Pradeep Paliwal suffered injuries during the violence.
Thousands of farmers thronged protest sites on Friday after union leaders accused the centre of trying to destroy their peaceful agitation and sought the support of people in observing a fast on January 30, Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary.
Grounds near Mahaveer Chowk in Muzaffarnagar were packed, after protesters on hundreds of tractors with the tricolour and flags of farm unions took to the city roads, disrupting traffic movement.
Several opposition parties condemned the action taken on farmers. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi warned that the farmers' agitation will spread across the country if not resolved soon and said that the only solution to the issue was to throw the new agricultural laws in the "wastepaper basket".
Farmers have been protesting on the outskirts of Delhi since November against the government's new farm laws that they fear will leave them at the mercy of big corporates. Eleven rounds of talks between the two sides have failed.