Prominent farmer leaders 'named' in FIR
2 unions withdraw from stir; security beefed up in Delhi
New Delhi: As many as 37 farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav, Darshan Pal and Gurnam Singh Chaduni, have been named in an FIR in connection with the violence during the tractor parade that left 300 police personnel injured even as two farmer unions on Wednesday withdrew from the agitation against the farm laws.
The Delhi police said that 22 FIRs have been filed and around 200 people detained. Multiple videos and CCTV footage are being scanned to identify those involved in the violence and strict action will be taken against the culprits.
The FIR registered at Samaypur Badli names 37 farmer leaders including Tikait, Yadav, Darshan Pal and Chaduni and their role will be probed, the police said.
Even as the farmer unions continued to allege that "anti-social" elements had perpetrated the violence to "torpedo" their peaceful agitation against the farm laws, Tuesday's incidents that have been widely condemned started taking a toll with Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee withdrawing from the protests on the Delhi's borders.
The protesting farmer leaders are now considering postponement of their foot march to Parliament on February 1 against the three farm laws in the wake of the violence during the Republic Day.
A senior farmer leader said that Samkyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is an umbrella body of 41 protesting unions, will take a final call on the postponement of the February 1 foot march.
Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel visited the Red Fort on Wednesday to take stock of the damage caused by a section of farmers who stormed the monument and hoisted the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh religious flag, there after deviating from the rally route. The minister has sought a report on the incident. Vandalised metal detector gate and ticket counter, and shards of glass were seen on the premises of the Red Fort during the visit by the minister who was accompanied by the secretary of culture ministry and the ASI Director-General.
The case has been registered under various sections of IPC including 147, 148 (related to rioting), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy).
Security has been beefed up in several places across the national capital, especially at the Red Fort and farmer protest sites, with the deployment of additional paramilitary forces.
Delhi Metro authorities shut the Lal Quila station and restricted entry to the Jama Masjid station. The tractor parade on Republic Day that was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the city as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, and overturned vehicles. Farmers' body Samyukta Kisan Morcha alleged "antisocial" elements like actor Deep Sidhu attempted to "torpedo" their peaceful agitation under a conspiracy but asserted they won't allow "the government and other forces inimical to the peaceful movement to break this struggle".
In a statement, the Morcha said, "The Union government has been severely shaken by this peasant agitation. Therefore, a dirty conspiracy was hatched with Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and others."
It alleged that these outfits had set up their own separate protest site after 15 days of the beginning of this farmers' agitation. " They were not part of the organisations which jointly undertook the struggle," the statement claimed.