India's federal home ministry cut mobile internet services to parts of the city and closed several metro stations, in an attempt to thwart the protests.
Many protesters diverted from agreed routes and clashes broke out with police. Protesters succeeded in breaking the barricades as they outnumbered the police personnel. Today, we saw that the situation went out of control after protests turned violent.
Union leaders say they will allow private Indian conglomerates to take over the agriculture industry - the rockbed of the economy - and end guaranteed prices for most of their produce. The BJP's stunning 2019 election wins have effectively allowed it push legislation through - whether they pertained to Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, a controversial amendment to India's citizenship law in December 2019, or the new laws pertaining to farmers in September previous year. But when the tractor parade started, the protesters entered inside other areas of Delhi and also removed the police barricades.
Republic Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the country's constitution on January 26, 1950.
Farmers were given specific routes for the rally, which would largely be confined to the outskirts.
Modi has tried to allay farmers' fears by mostly dismissing their concerns and has repeatedly accused opposition parties of agitating them by spreading rumours.
"They have the resources to mobilise support, and to continue the protest for a long time".
The capital's roads were swarmed by rows upon rows of tractors bearing the flags of India and farm unions. Police fired tear gas shells at hundreds of farmers who wielded sticks and clubs and entered ITO, a few kilometres away from Parliament, in an effort to move towards Rajpath. Protesters driving tractors appeared to be deliberately trying to run over police personnel.
Police said one protester died after his tractor overturned, but farmers said he was shot. A protestor in the rampaging mob raised a flag on the Red Fort and challenged the democracy of the country.
Meanwhile, senior farmer Balbir Singh Rajewal said farmers were following the pre-decided route.
"Centre should engage with the farmers and repeal the draconian laws", she added.
Union leaders issued similar appeals, condemning and distancing themselves from the violence. But the economic clout of farmers has diminished over the last three decades.