dpa/GNA – The Indian capital was placed on a high security alert Wednesday, a day after protesting farmers broke barricades, clashed with police and stormed Delhi’s historic Red Fort.

Nearby Haryana and Punjab states were also put on alert.

Farming leaders at the forefront of the calls for three contentious farm laws to be rescinded condemned the violence and said rogue elements were responsible.

The farmers who had been camped at the city’s borders since November had been given permission to hold rallies on specific routes as part of their protest on India’s Republic Day, which marks the adoption of the country’s constitution on January 26, 1950.

Thousands of farmers broke away from the set route and pushed aside barricades to enter the city on tractors, on foot and on horses.

More than 100 policemen were injured in the clashes and a protester died when his tractor was involved in an accident, a Delhi Police spokesman said.

Police registered at least 40 cases of assault on public servants and vandalism.

The violence has come as a setback to the farmers’ peaceful demonstrations.

“In spite of our instructions, some farmers left the designated route. We have no links with those who went to the Red Fort,” farmers’ union leader Rakesh Tikait said.

The leaders are scheduled to hold a meeting later Wednesday to discuss the next course of action.

The government says the new laws will liberalize and energize the agricultural sector, but farmers fear they will leave them at the mercy of market forces and want them repealed.

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