Farmers protesting against the agricultural laws at the Singhu border in Delhi on Friday claimed to have captured a man who said he was part of a plot to kill four protest leaders and cause violence at their planned tractor rally on Republic Day, ANI reported.
The man, who had his face covered, was made to sit and speak to the media at the protest site. He said that he was part of a 10-member team assigned the task to disrupt the agitation. He said that the team also included two women.
“We had planned to stop farmers from moving ahead during [the] January 26 rally and if they did not stop, we had planned to first fire in the air and then our other teammates were to fire from behind so that the police officials present at the spot think that the farmers are firing at them,” he said.
He added that some members of the team had planned to wear police uniforms to scatter the protestors. The man said his team was also given the photographs of four leaders of the agitation who would be present on the stage on January 24 and ordered to shoot them.
The man claimed that a policeman named Pradeep Singh, the station house officer of the Rai police station in Haryana, had trained the team, NDTV reported.
However, it was found that the SHO of that police station is Vivek Malik. There is no police officer named Pradeep there. Malik also denied the man’s claims. “The boy is saying that they were asked to pose as police and shoot at the farmers,” he was quoted as saying by India Today. “What is the police going to do among the farmers? There was a tractor march in the past too, there was no police present there, there were only farmers.”
The man caught at Singhu border also said that he and his teammates were offered Rs 10,000 each to carry out the task. “There are other people as well who are involved in this who are yet to be caught,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. “I would request that our families should not be informed about this.” He was then handed over to the Haryana Police.
The farmers are planning to hold their tractor rally on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi which passes through Vikaspuri, Janakpuri, Uttam Nagar, Burari, Peeragarhi and Pitampura areas. On Thursday, they had refused to accept the police’s suggestion to take an alternative route for the rally.
Meanwhile, the 11th round of talks between the farmer unions and the Centre ended in a deadlock on Friday as the protestors remained firm on their demand for a complete repeal of the new agriculture laws. No date has been fixed for the next meeting.
On Wednesday, the farmers had rejected the Centre’s proposal to pause the implementation of the agricultural laws. They remained firm on their demand for a complete rollback of the legislations.