The Punjab government will provide Rs 2 lakh as compensation to 83 people arrested after violence broke out at a tractor rally held by farmers in Delhi on Republic Day, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said on Friday.
Farmers had taken out the rally to demand that the three agricultural laws, which they fear will usher in corporate dominance in farming, be repealed. Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s border entry points for nearly a year now to push for the withdrawal of the laws.
A section of protestors had broken through barricades put up in Delhi and clashed with police officers, who tried to push them back with tear gas and batons.
A 25-year-old protestor, Navreet Singh, had died in Delhi’s ITO area. Witnesses and his family alleged he was shot during the rally, but the police claimed he died after his tractor overturned.
During the rally, one group forced its way into the Red Fort. Some of the protestors climbed on top of the fort to unfurl Sikh flags, leading to more clashes with the police.
The Delhi Police said 394 of its officers were injured during the rally. There was no exact number for farmers injured that day.
The police registered several cases after the violence. Complaints were filed against farmer leaders and journalists also, and hundreds of protestors were arrested.
For the violence at Red Fort, the Delhi Police had registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and invoked sedition charges against the accused persons.
The police claimed in their chargesheet in May that the violence at the Red Fort was a “deep-rooted conspiracy”.
“The very purpose of this conspiracy was hatched/orchestrated in two parts, i.e., firstly visit Red Fort to conquer/get hold of it and secondly to make it a new protest site for farmers protesting against the newly enacted Bill/act,” the police had alleged.