After photos emerged yesterday of policemen armed with metal lances and arm guards, apparently to ward against swords seen during farmer protests, the Delhi Police have put out a disclaimer and have also asked those behind the images to explain.
The policemen in the images were from one part of Delhi and they took the initiative on their own, the Delhi Police said today, denying any formal orders to incorporate new metal armoury. The unit, which is from Shahdara, has been asked for an explanation, according to sources.
“The images were from Shahdara district. A local officer asked for these metal lathis without seeking approval from any senior officers,” said a Delhi Police spokesman.
“As soon as senior officers found out, these were taken back. There is no scheme to provide policemen with steel lathis.”
Last week, a cop was injured by a sword during a fight at the Singhu border outside Delhi between protesting farmers and a group that had barged into their tent and attacked them.
A protester armed with a sword was seen attacking the group, and police officer Pradeep Paliwal, who tried to break up the fight, was “grievously injured”, according to Delhi Police. Visuals showed the police taking away the blood-stained weapon.
Swords were also seen on Tuesday, when the farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally descended into chaos as protesters clashed with cops at several places and stormed the historic Red Fort.
A photo shared by sources showed a group of cops standing by the side of a road, equipped with what appeared to be metal guards covering their forearm and holding metal lances with a wide ‘guard’ around the grip to shield the wrists when swinging at an opponent.
After NDTV’s report on the photo, the Delhi police clarified that there was no formal order to equip their forces with these weapons.