Delhi police arrest 19, lodge 25 FIRs over violent clashes at farmers' tractor rally
New Delhi/IBNS: Nineteen people have been arrested and more than 25 cases were registered a day after violence erupted during farmers' tractor rally in the national capital on Tuesday, the Delhi Police said. FIRs were filed against at least 10 farmer leaders including Rakesh Tikait and Yogendra Yadav for inciting violence during the tractor rally.
The farmer groups have alleged a huge conspiracy behind the eruption of violence on Tuesday during the tractor rally organised to protest against the Centre's contentious farms laws, in which a farmer died.
The conspiracy, the farmers said, is to sabotage the movement aimed at repealing the three contentious farm laws passed by the Centre in September.
Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday took the responsibility for the violence and said he was ashamed of it. He, however, absolved himself by his posts on Facebook that claimed the "conspiracy to defame the peaceful movement that has been going on for the last 7 months has now been exposed to the public."
"With the support of some individuals and organizations (mainly the Kisan Labour Struggle Committee led by Deep Sidhu and Satnam Singh Pannu), the government made this movement violent. United Kisan Morcha clarifies again that we have no connection with the violent actions in Red Fort and other parts of Delhi. We strongly condemn those activities.However, other union leaders have cried conspiracy planned to sabotage their movement," he wrote.
Around 400 police personnel were injured in the daylong clashes.
The rally took a violent turn as the farmers broke barricades and tried to enter Delhi way ahead of time and deviated from the planned route which had been cleared for the rally.
Speaking during a press meet on Wednesday, the Delhi Police said: "Farmers at Singhu broke the barricades at 6.30 am itself. They didn't stick to the designated route."
"Similar defiance was seen at Tikri and Ghazipur borders," an officer said. "Butta Singh along with his team indulged in violence at Nangloi junction (near Tikri border). Farmers with Rakesh Tikait indulged in violence at Ghazipur and reached Red Fort," he added.
The police have detained 200 people in connection with the violence which took place mostly in and around Mukarba Chowk, Ghazipur, ITO, Seemapuri, Nangloi T-Point, Tikri Border and the Red Fort. Baricades were broken at Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu borders.
Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) have withdrawn from the farmers' protest, a day after New Delhi witnessed violence during a tractor march on Republic Day.
Announcing the move, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan leader VM Singh said his organisation is withdrawing from the farmers' protest with immediate effect because the format of the protest in "unacceptable" to it, reports India Today.
Deploring the Republic Day violence in Delhi, especially at the Red Fort, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday termed it an insult to the nation and said it had brought shame to the country and weakened farmers’ agitation, but made it clear that he continued to stand with the farmers as the Farm Laws were wrong and against India’s federal ethos.
Stressing that the Red Fort is a symbol of independent India and thousands of Indians had given up their lives for independence and to see the national flag flying atop the fort, the Chief Minister said Mahatma Gandhi had fought the entire war of independence through non-violence.
Violent clashes erupted on Tuesday when a section of farmers decided to enter Delhi to register their protest against the three contentious farm laws, much ahead of the time they were granted permission by the Delhi police.
Dramatic scenes of violent clashes were witnessed when the farmers reached the ITO area of Central Delhi.
Braving the tear gas, lathicharge by police and breaking barricades, the protesters stormed into the heart of the national capital Delhi and captured the Red Fort as police seemed going outnumbered.
While the farmers claimed the deceased was hit by a bullet, police said he had died after his tractor overturned.
Footage of the incident showed the casualty resulted as the victim's tractor rammed into yellow Delhi Police barricades and overturned.
The postmortem report even confirmed the same on Wednesday.
In some visuals, the dividers on the streets of Delhi were seen vandalised, allegedly by the farmers.
The farmers reportedly entered into Delhi through the routes which have not been allotted for the protesters.
The situation rapidly went out of control as farmers drove their tractors into the iconic Red Fort.
Protesting farmers climbed the ramparts and tried to put up yellow flags of Sikh religious significance.
It took hours for the police to remove the protesters from the 400-year-old Mughal-built monument.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday evening held a meeting with top security personnel to take stock of the situation.