Farm law protests: Over 25 criminal cases filed, 19 arrested for tractor rally violence, say police
The rally in Delhi turned violent after police used tear gas and batons as protestors broke through barricades to hold the march.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday said that over 25 criminal cases had been filed and 19 arrested for the violence during the farmers’ massive Republic Day tractor rally.
Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) and Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan announced their decision to withdraw from the ongoing farmers’ protest, a day after the violence.
On Tuesday, thousands of protestors broke away from the pre-planned route of the protest, and stormed the Red Fort complex to demand the repeal of new farm laws. One protestor died, and injuries were reported on both sides as farmers clashed with the police who used tear gas and batons on them.
Farmer leaders have distanced themselves from the violence, saying it was the work of “certain antisocial elements”. The police will hold a press briefing later in the day.
Farmers are demanding that the government rollbacks the new laws which they say will hurt their livelihoods and help big companies. The government, which says the agriculture reforms will boost farmer incomes, has agreed to suspend the laws, but the farmers have said New Delhi must repeal them.
Here are the top updates of the day:
10.50 pm: Balbir S Rajewal of Bharatiya Kisan Union (R) says farmers will hold public rallies across the country in support of the agitation on Martyrs’ Day (January 30), and will keep a one -day fast, reports ANI.
10.44 pm: Akali Dal condemns violence in tractor rally, cautions Centre against using the incidents as “excuse to scuttle” genuine demands of farmers, reports PTI.
10.42 pm: Haryana government extends suspension of internet and SMS services in Sonipat, Palwal, and Jhajjar districts of the state till 5 pm on Thursday to curb spread of misinformation, reports ANI.
10.41 pm: Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions, says some individuals and organisations like Deep Sidhu and Kisan Majdoor Sangarsh Committee led by Satnam Singh Pannu, were behind the violence in Tuesday’s tractor rally, reports ANI.
8.42 pm: The police in Haryana’s Palwal district file an FIR against nearly 2,000 unidentified protesters for allegedly trying to break barricades to enter Delhi on Tuesday, PTI reports.
8.27 pm: Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava says farmer leaders will be questioned, PTI reports. “Those involved in violence during tractor rally will not be spared,” he adds.
8.26 pm: The Delhi Police add that more than 25 criminal cases have been registered in connection with the violence.
8.24 pm: Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava says as many as 394 policemen were injured in the violence and several of them are still in hospitals. “Some of them are admitted to ICU [intensive care unit] wards,” he adds.
8.23 pm: The police say that 19 accused have been arrested and 50 others have been detained in connection with the violence, ANI reports.
8.22 pm: The Delhi Police brief the media on violence at Tuesday’s tractor rally.
7.55 pm: Gangster-turned-activist Lakha Sidhana denies involvement in the violence at the tractor rally, PTI reports. “I am pained at the incidents that took place on Tuesday but I am not involved in these,” he says. “There is no video, photo or other evidence that shows that I instigated people. We had marched towards the Outer Ring Road under our farmer leaders in a peaceful manner. We never had any agenda of going towards the Red Fort.”
7.52 pm: Farmer leaders are considering postponing their march to the Parliament on Budget day, in wake of the violence at the tractor rally, PTI reports. An unidentified farmer leader tells the news agency that the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha will take a final call on the postponement.
7.45 pm: The Delhi Police names 37 farmer leaders and activists in their first information report, including social activist Medha Patkar and Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait, according to a copy for the FIR viewed by Scroll.in.
7.33 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the protestors who marched to the Red Fort brought shame to the country and Delhi, PTI reports. “My head hangs in shame at what happened yesterday [Tuesday] in the national capital,” he adds. “Police should investigate and take action.”
7.13 pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala says Bharatiya Janata Party allowed miscreants to infiltrate Tuesday’s tractor rally, in order to discredit farmers’ protest.
7.11 pm: Farmers protest against Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan leader VM Singh following his announcement to withdraw from the agitation, reports ANI.
4.56 pm: Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) President Bhanu Pratap Singh says he is “deeply pained” by the violence in Delhi and announces that his group will end its protest, ANI reports.
4.53 pm: BJP MLA Surendra Singh blames Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi for the violence during the farmers’ rally, PTI reports. “There is foreign hand behind the violence,” he says. “The incident had taken place on directions of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Congress leaders not expressing any regret over the incident proves that.”
Uttar Pradesh Congress Media coordinator Lalan Kumar hits back at Singh, saying the comment shows his “mental bankruptcy”.
4.45 pm: The Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan breaks away from other groups protesting against the farm laws, ANI reports. “We can’t carry forward a protest with someone whose direction is something else,” the group’s leader VM Singh says.
Singh adds: “I have nothing to do with the protest which is being led by them and over here being represented by Rakesh Tikait [Bharatiya Kisan Union leader] on their behalf.”
4.29 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a meeting to review the security situation in Delhi, PTI reports. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, senior officers of the home ministry and Delhi Police officers attend the meeting.
4.20 pm: The Uttar Pradesh Police say the protestor who died during the rally on Tuesday was not shot, ANI reports. They cite his post mortem report. “He succumbed to the antemortem injuries which he received after his tractor turned turtle as seen in the viral video,” Additional Director General of Police Avinash Chandra says.
4.16 pm: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh says violence at the tractor rally was part of a “concerted conspiracy” to malign a peaceful agitation, ANI reports. “The farmers have handed over 15 people who started the violence yesterday,” he says. “They have been found to have government identity cards.”
4.00 pm: In their first information report, the Delhi provide provide details of the events at ITO, where one protestor died. The police claim that they began a rescue effort after his truck overturned but farmers to tractors tried to hit them, ANI reports. The police added that they had a close shave and left the site.
3.57 pm: Indian National Lok Dal MLA Abhay Singh Chautala resigns from the Haryana Assembly over the farm laws, PTI reports. The speaker of the Assembly accepts his resignation.
3.16 pm: Six Delhi Transport Corporation buses and five police vehicles were damaged in the violence that broke out at ITO during the farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day, according to an FIR registered in connection with the incident, reports PTI.
The Delhi Police stated the protestors tried to enter Luytens’ Delhi from Tilak Bridge despite not having the permission to hold the tractor parade in the jurisdiction of IP Estate Police station, where the first information report was registered.
3.09 pm: Samyukt Kisan Morcha says that most of the farmer unions, who are part of the ongoing agitation against the new farm laws, held a meeting today to discuss the events that unfolded during the tractor rally on Republic Day, reports ANI.
The concerned organisations discussed the violent incidents in Delhi and concluded that the Centre has been “severely shaken by this peasant agitation”, the coalition of farmer bodies said in a statement.
“Therefore, a dirty conspiracy was hatched with Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and others against the peaceful struggle of other farmer organizations, who had set up their own separate protest site after 15 days of beginning of this Farmers’ agitation,” the statement adds. “They were not part of the organisations which jointly undertook the struggle.”
3.05 pm: The Delhi Police say they have registered a first information report against farm leaders Darshan Pal, Rajinder Singh, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Buta Singh Burjgil and Joginder Singh Ugraha, for allegedly breaching the No Objection Certificate issued for the tractor rally, reports ANI. The FIR also mentions the name of Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.
2.22 pm: Union minister Prakash Javadekar says that the Delhi Police will hold a press briefing at 4 pm today to address all questions regarding the violence that broke out during a tractor rally organised by farmers on Republic Day, reports ANI.
1.40 pm: Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel visits the Red Fort to take stock of the damage caused to the monument, a day after a section of farmers stormed into the iconic structure to protest against the new farm laws, reports PTI. The minister has sought a report on the incident.
1.15 pm: The Delhi Police file a case against nine farm leaders, including Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, in connection with the violence that broke out during the tractor rally on Tuesday, reports The Indian Express.
1.13 pm: The Delhi Police detain around 200 protestors on the charges of rioting, damaging public property and attacking its personnel, during the farmers’ tractor rally on Tuesday, reports The Indian Express. The police say they will make arrests after “conducting proper verification”.
12.55 pm: A plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to set up of a commission to inquire the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day, reports PTI.
Filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, the application says that a three-member inquiry commission under the chairmanship of a former top court judge and comprising of two retired high court judges should be set up for collecting evidence in the matter. The report for the same would be submitted to the court, the plea adds.
The plea has also sought direction to the concerned authority to lodge cases under relevant penal provisions against individuals or organisations responsible for the violence, and for “causing dishonour of the National Flag on January 26”.
11.07 am: Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee member SS Pandher alleges that unidentified miscreants had tried to defame the farmers’ movement by joining Tuesday’s protests, reports ANI. “We did not plan to unfurl the flags at the Red Fort, that was not our programme,” he adds.
Pandher says that the farmers suspect that actor Deep Sidhu had instigated the violence. “We had already expressed doubt over him,” the farm leader adds.
10.56 am: The Delhi Police will hold a press briefing today over the violence that broke out in the Capital during a tractor rally organised by farmers on Republic Day, reports ANI.
10.53 am: When the first wave of tractors triumphantly drove down the national highway north of Delhi around 9 am on January 26, the most conspicuous symbol was the Indian tricolour. It dominated all other flags – the saffron-coloured Nishan Sahib, the flag of the Sikh Khalsa Panth, as well as the multihued flags of various farmer unions.
By afternoon, however, only one scene was being played on a loop on television news: the unfurling of the Nishan Sahib atop the Red Fort.
Read here Scroll’s detailed account of Tuesday’s events:
‘Delhi is our capital too’: A blow-by-blow account of the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day
10.49 am: Delhi Police spokesperson Anil Mittal says 22 cases have been registered at various police stations across the Capital under sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to rioting and damage to public property, among other charges, reports the Hindustan Times. More first information reports are likely to be registered as an investigation is underway, he adds.
10.45 am: The Minto Road, which had been closed in view of Tuesday’s violence, is now open for traffic movement, say the Delhi Police.
10.42 am: Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati says the Centre must take Tuesday’s events seriously, and appeals to the government to withdraw the contentious farm laws immediately. “Whatever happened during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day in the country’s Capital, it should not have happened at all,” she writes on Twitter. “It is very unfortunate...”
10.39 am: The Delhi Police allege the central operator of the Additional Commissioner of Police was attacked with a sword at ITO during Tuesday’s violence, reports ANI.
10.34 am: The Delhi Police said more than 100 of its personal were injured in clashes with farmers who stormed the Capital on Tuesday to hold a tractor rally in protest against the new agricultural reforms. Twenty-two first information reports were lodged in connection with the violence, the police said.
Farm law protests: Over 100 police officers injured, 22 FIRs registered in Republic Day violence
10.27 am: Heavy security arrangements have been made at the Tikri border, a day after a farmers’ tractor rally turned violent, reports ANI.
10.09 am: Tikait adds that some antisocial elements were behind the violence during the farmers’ tractor parade in the Capital on Tuesday, reports News18. “It was due to the Delhi Police’s actions that some antisocial elements entered the parade and caused the violence,” he alleges.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson in a statement further alleges that the Delhi Police had wrongly placed barricades at some places of the pre-decided routes of the parade. “This was done intentionally to misguide farmers,” Tikait says, adding that because of this, farmers on tractors went astray.
10.03 am: Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait says protestors who were responsible for Tuesday’s violence “will have to pay for their deeds,” reports ANI. This is not a movement of Sikhs, but of farmers, he asserts.
“Uneducated people were driving tractors, they didn’t know the paths of Delhi,” he adds. “ [The] administration told them the way towards Delhi... Some of them unknowingly deflected towards Red Fort. Police guided them to return.”
9.59 am: Farmer leaders from Punjab will address the protesting farmers at the Singhu border, a day after the Capital witnessed unprecedented scenes of chaos during the Republic Day tractor rally organised by protestors, reports NDTV.
8.05 am: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation says that the entry and exit gates of Lal Quila metro station are closed. It adds that the entry gates of Jama Masjid metro station are also shut down.
8.03 am: Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan faction), on Tuesday said the message of the march “would have been stronger if it had been kept free of communal issues,” according to The Indian Express.
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, sent audio and video messages, asking people to come back from Red Fort as it was not a part of their original plan.
8.01 am: Punjab and Haryana governments on Tuesday issued high alerts in their respective states following the Republic Day violence in Delhi, reports News18.
Here are the top updates from Tuesday
- Chaos ensued in the national Capital as a section of the farmers protesting against the new agriculture laws entered Delhi to hold a tractor rally and were met with tear gas and baton-charge by the police.
- The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation closed several metro stations as farmers protesting the new agricultural laws broke police barricades and entered the city to start their tractor rally ahead of the scheduled time.
- Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the farmers’ unions, called off the tractor rally with immediate effect on Tuesday evening and asked the farmers to return to protest sites.