At Singhu Border, 2,000 People Keep Peace At Farmers’ Protest
Led by 10 Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCsP), 20 Assistant Commissioners (ACsP) and 30 inspectors, 2,000 members of the Delhi Police have been working 12-hour shifts every day for the past 10 days at the Singhu border, the side of the protest with the largest farmers meeting.
They are complemented by some 600 members of the paramilitary forces such as the Rapid Action Force, the Central Reserve Police and the Central Industrial Security Force.
Every day, 20 buses have been making four roundtrip rounds to pick up and drop off these police personnel between a common assembly point and the Singhu border for the 8 a.m. shifts. M. At 8 p. M. And after 8 p. M. A 8 a. M., Said a senior police officer on how the police have been handling their staff as protesters continue to camp at this border point.
These police personnel include approximately 25% women and are from the local northwest district and contiguous districts. “There are also special cell teams, criminal branch, battalions and the transit unit,” said the officer, requesting anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the media.
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“Each and every one of these personnel has been equipped with body protection equipment, helmets and poles. If someone arrives without their equipment, we have set up a temporary warehouse here to equip it upon arrival, ”said the officer, adding that around 2,000 tear gas projectiles are stored there to attend to any eventuality.
BASIC MEALS, BUT TIMELY
While some members of the police personnel bring their own food, most rely on the food prepared at the protest site.
“We have hired local chefs to prepare lunch, dinner and tea every day. They have been preparing lunches for 1,200 policemen, dinners for 600 and about 4,000 cups of tea every day. Apart from the police, even some paramilitaries have these meals, ”said Gaurav Sharma, DCP (exterior-north), under whose jurisdiction the border area falls.
The other police officer said that the meals can be very basic, but that they are cooked fresh and that packaged meals are a complete no-no for the police. Meals usually consist of rice-rajma, rice-chhole or poori-curry. On Sunday, kadhi-rice was offered for lunch while about eight men and women went to cook on an empty plot of land, about 50 meters from the barricades.
FALL IN HOSTILITIES
Initially, after a violent clash between the farmers and the police on the Singhu border, there was a lot of hostility between the two sides. “The policemen came with complaints that they were being mocked at the barricades. We ask you not to respond, ”said the first officer.
The situation is quite different now.
“Farmers have often visited us to offer their food. Some of us politely refuse, but I accept it because farmers are our own people, ”said an agent belonging to Haryana.
A police chief, who is also not authorized to speak to the media, said the farmers on the other side of the barricades include people from his village in Haryana. “My family also likes farming, but I have asked them to stay away because I know how quickly the situation can get worse,” said the police chief.
PROVISIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE
DCP Sharma said the police have even started providing medical aid, ambulances and other aid to farmers. “Farmers on the Delhi side of the border sometimes come to us for help. Humanity matters more than anything else and we have created a help desk where even farmers are welcome, ”said DCP.
The help desk is operational from a sleek 10 × 25 foot metal cabinet. This is the administrative room of the police for the moment from November 29.
Half a dozen policemen, led by an ACP, work on four computers in this booth, which is also equipped with two small printers and one large printer. “All matters related to police deployment, from making lists to holding meetings, are done here,” DCP said.
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This hastily installed cabin turned out to be an “opportunity in a crisis.” “The police booth at the border is scheduled to be dismantled when an overpass scheduled to be built at this border point begins. This hut will become a police station once the protests are over, ”said the first officer.
For basic facilities like toilets and water, the police had sought help from civic agencies. “The Delhi Jal Board provides us with water cisterns. We have 25 portable toilets installed here. Two ambulances are on standby at any moment and sanitation workers arrive every morning to clean the area, ”said the officer.
For cold nights, the police have arranged 12 braziers (angeethis) for staff. “So far, about seven or eight policemen have gotten sick in the border service. They have been replaced, ”said the officer.
While camping on the borders for an extended period has been difficult, police had something to cheer on Saturday. “Since the protests have continued for longer than anticipated by the police, since Saturday we have decided to give each staff a day off in turn,” said the officer.