Republic Day Parade 2021 Highlights: UP Ram Temple Tableau Gets Standing Ovation on Rajpath, Indian Farmers Protest

Republic Day Parade 2021 Highlights: UP Ram Temple Tableau Gets Standing Ovation on Rajpath, Indian Farmer Protest Turned Unruly in Challenge


Republic Day Parade 2021 Updates: Donning special red 'paghdi' gifted by royal family of Jamnagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is present at Rajpath for the parade after paying tribute to martyred soldiers at India Gate's National War Memorial. President Ram Nath, the supreme commander of the armed forces, is at the venue too. Bangladesh Armed Forces, which fought and bled together with their Indian counterparts 50 years ago, marched at parade for the first time.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi wished Indians Happy Republic Day ahead of the parade amid Covid-19 protocols. The national capital is under high security as the city would be witnessing two big events--Republic Day celebrations and a farmers' tractor parade.

The Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 41 unions leading protests against the Centre's farm laws, said their tractor parade will not enter central Delhi and it will start only after the official Republic Day parade on Rajpath concludes. The city has been brought under heavy security cover with deployment of thousands of security personnel in central Delhi and several border points. Patrolling has been intensified at power substations in Delhi following a threat from the banned Sikhs for Justice outfit to disrupt the city's supply during the Republic Day celebrations. An official said around 6,000 security personnel have been deployed to maintain vigil. Facial recognition systems have also been set up at vantage points for suspect identification, the official said.

The security personnel are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil over Rajpath, where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating the occasion along with other dignitaries and thousands of people. Checking and frisking at Rajghat will be done by personnel in PPE kits, with mask and face shield, keeping in line with COVID-19 protocols, the official said.

A five-layer security cover has been deployed in and around the city to maintain law and order, a senior police officer said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said more than 6,000 police personnel have been deployed at Rajpath for the Republic Day celebrations. Following COVID protocols, only 25,000 people will be allowed to attend the ceremony at Rajpath as opposed to over one lakh spectators who usually attended the event every year, he said. The parade will be shorter this year.

Only tableaux will be allowed at the Red Fort, he said. "We have 140 CCTV cameras on the Republic Day parade route and along the enclosures. Instead of marching up to the Red Fort, the parade will end at the national stadium. We have identified and set up facial recognition systems at 30 spots on Rajpath from where the public would enter. "This system is fed with a database of nearly over 50,000 people, including that of suspected terrorists, criminals and anti-social elements," said another senior police officer.

According to an advisory, no traffic will be allowed on Vijay Chowk from 6 pm on Monday till the parade is over. Rajpath is already out of bounds. No cross traffic on Rajpath intersections from 11 pm on Monday at Rafi Marg, Janpath, Man Singh Road till parade is over. To maintain law and order during the farmers' tractor parade, thousands of security personnel have been already deployed at several border points. Deependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence), claimed on Sunday that over 300 Twitter handles have been generated from Pakistan to disrupt the tractor parade. 

The traffic going towards the NH-44 and the GT Karnal Road will be diverted from Singhu Shani Mandir, Ashok Farm/Janti Tall, Hamidpur, Sunderpur Majra, Zindopur Mukhmelpur, Kadipur, Kushak Colony, Mukarba Chowk and GTK Depot," Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Meenu Chowdhary said.

The second batch of vehicles will start from the Tikri border and pass through Nangloi, Baprola Village and Najafgarh, excluding Phirni Road, Jharoda Border, Rohtak Bypass (Bahadurgarh) and Asoda Toll Plaza, Chowdhary said. Police said the traffic will be diverted from different points. Traffic will not be allowed to enter on the Rohtak road from Kirari Mor and will be diverted towards Mangolpuri. It will also be diverted from Ghevra Mor towards Khanjawala, they said.

Tractors from the Ghazipur border will cover some portion of the NH-24 from where they will take a right turn to Road Number 56, ISBT Anand Vihar, Apsara Border, Hapur Road, Bhopura, IMS College, Lal Kuan and Ghazipur Border, police said. Hundreds of women farmers are also expected to drive tractors. Farmer leaders have appealed to those participating in the parade to carry enough ration for 24 hours and ensure that the rally remains peaceful. "No one should carry any weapon or drink alcohol. Banners carrying inciting messages are not allowed," a farmer leader said. Enacted in September last year, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the minimum support price and do away with the 'mandi' system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

Thousands of protesting farmers poured into the Indian capital of New Delhi on Tuesday as they used their tractors to pull barricades apart, prompting police to fire tear gas and marking a chaotic start to an event that had already been set to pose a direct challenge to the government.

The farmers protesting against India’s new farm laws had been expected to start a procession of tractors through the city at noon local time, to prevent interferences with celebrations commemorating India’s Republic Day holiday in central Delhi. But farmers began to dismantle barricades about two hours early amid some apparent confusion among protesters.   

The protest had already threatened to upstage the 72nd annual celebration of the inception of India’s Constitution. Prime Minister Narendra Modi oversaw a lavish parade by the armed forces, but news broadcasters showed surreal scenes of Mr. Modi saluting officers while chaos was breaking out in several parts of the city just a few miles away. By midafternoon, at least one person had died.


At the city’s border with the village of Ghazipur, where farmers have been camped out for months in protest, tractors removed a shipping container placed to block their route as police stood by helplessly. Elsewhere, thick clouds of tear gas rose over approved march routes as farmers on tractors, on horses and on foot forcefully began their rally hours ahead of schedule.

The farmers waved flags and taunted police officers, TV news showed. Many carried long swords, tridents, sharp daggers and battle axes — functional if largely ceremonial weapons. It appeared that most protesters were not wearing masks, despite India’s Covid-19 outbreak.

Indian TV news showed that smaller groups broke away from the approved routes, tipping over buses and violently clashing with overwhelmed police armed with bamboo batons as they marched toward central Delhi. By early afternoon, Delhi police commanders had deployed officers carrying assault rifles. They stood in the middle of key roads, staring down the protesters, rifles aimed at the crowds.

Still, the majority of protesters were sticking to the approved routes and skirting the city center. At one of the capital’s largest junctions, near India’s Supreme Court in the heart of Delhi, farmers on tractors retreated after police fired several volleys of tear gas.

Indian TV news showed that smaller groups broke away from the approved routes, tipping over buses and violently clashing with overwhelmed police armed with bamboo batons as they marched toward central Delhi. By early afternoon, Delhi police commanders had deployed officers carrying assault rifles. They stood in the middle of key roads, staring down the protesters, rifles aimed at the crowds.

Still, the majority of protesters were sticking to the approved routes and skirting the city center. At one of the capital’s largest junctions, near India’s Supreme Court in the heart of Delhi, farmers on tractors retreated after police fired several volleys of tear gas.