How farmers are battling security forces during the "Delhi Chalo" march: from earthmovers to kites

Amidst the ongoing march of farmers towards Delhi, with dialogue between union leaders and government officials yielding no resolution, considerable attention has been drawn to the array of equipment and machinery employed in the protests. India Today's Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) team has meticulously compiled an inventory of the heavy-duty machinery and tools utilized by both farmers and law enforcement personnel at the protest venues, drawing from a variety of media sources and supplementing this information with firsthand observations from the ground.

Dubbed the "Delhi Chalo" march, the movement has witnessed farmers employing innovative tactics to counter the police and their sophisticated arsenal, including tactics such as utilizing kites to ensnare police drones and mobilizing heavy construction machinery to dismantle barricades. Additionally, farmers have resorted to unconventional measures like applying toothpaste to mitigate the effects of teargas exposure.

On-site sources report the utilization of a range of earth-moving equipment such as excavators, Poclains, Tippers, and Hydras, alongside tractors, at the Khanauri and Shambhu borders. There are indications that these tools are being employed to breach the Haryana police barricades.

Furthermore, vehicles including tractors and trucks utilized by the protesting farmers have allegedly been reinforced with bulletproof modifications, incorporating heavy metal sheets on their tires for added protection.

Meanwhile, security measures implemented by authorities on the Ambala side entail the strategic obstruction of highway bridges over the Ghaggar River, utilizing concrete blocks, iron wires, and trenches to impede access routes. Additionally, reports suggest the deployment of sound cannons by police forces, emitting high-decibel levels capable of causing hearing impairment, as a means of crowd control.

Farmers have reportedly transported truckloads of sandbags to facilitate navigation through impassable terrain in case main roads are obstructed by police barricades.

Amidst these challenges, farmers have adopted ingenious strategies such as utilizing kites to disrupt tear gas-laden drones and employing household items like "Multani mitti" and toothpaste to mitigate the effects of teargas exposure. Furthermore, protective measures such as anti-riot gas masks and bulletproof vests have been observed among protesting farmers.

Internal reports indicate a significant gathering of farmers at various border points, underscoring the scale and determination of the ongoing protests.

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