Everything that is known so far about the tractor rally violence
As the protesting farmers’ tractor rally entered New Delhi amid country’s 72nd Republic Day celebrations, clashes broke out between police personnel and protestors at several locations of Delhi. Farmers’ Unions who had maintained from the beginning of the protest to launch a peaceful protest, on Tuesday found resorting to violence. In an attempt to control the situation, the Delhi Police resorted to lathi-charge and used tear gas to disperse the farmers gathered at the location as the farmers proceeded to knock down barricades and other impediments in their path to force their way to New Delhi.
Chanting ‘jai jawan jai kisan’ and ‘rang de basanti’, thousands of farmers rode tractors, horses, motorbikes, and even cranes to cross borders of the national capital for their tractor rally against the three farm laws much before the scheduled time, causing the disarray.
The rally began peacefully but it took a violent turn after protestors broke past the barricades with their tractors at Karnal bypass and Delhi Meerut Expressway near Pandav Nagar to enter New Delhi. Clashes between the farmers and police were reported near Delhi’s Akshardham area, Chintamani Chowk in Shahdara, and ITO. At Mukarba Chowk in Delhi, the farmers leading the tractor rally were seen removing police barricading and on top of the police vehicle as they refused to follow the decided route. Many farmers diverted from agreed routes with Delhi police and clashes broke out with police.
— Anshu Biswas (@AnshuBiswas3) January 26, 2021
Police had agreed for Tractor rally on a condition
Police had agreed to allow Tractor rally after several rounds of talks on the condition that protestors won’t interrupt the annual Republic Day parade, which takes place on Rajpath. They had given farmers specific routes for their tractor rally, which was largely confined to the outskirts of Delhi.
While farmers at several entry points had followed the agreed routes, few of them at Ghazipur, TIkri and Singhu borders broke through police barricades earlier in the day. All these three are main entry points to the national capital along with three other entry points. A DTC bus was vandalised and at least two police vehicles were damaged near Singhu border.
Images from the ITO metro station showed police clashing with farmers and using tear gas against the farmers. The protestors appeared to be deliberately trying to run over police personnel. Several reports have suggested injuries on both sides.
— Ritik Sharma (@RitikSh43126072) January 26, 2021
At least one protestor died after his tractor overturned. Other farmers at the site alleged that the tractor overturned after police fired at it. The farmer’s body was found crushed under a tractor which was wrapped in a national flag at the ITO intersection.
— Tнᴀʟᴀ_Kᴀιʟᴀsн (@THALA6072531122) January 26, 2021
Flags hoisted at the Red Fort
Farmers also converged on the iconic Red fort by breaching security and clambered onto the domes and walls of the 16th Century fortress, even hosting flags alongside the national flag. TV news channels flashed videos of farmers hoisting flags at Red fort.
The exit and entry gates of over 10 metro stations in the north and central Delhi were temporarily closed on Tuesday following clashes between protesting farmers and police. Traffic was affected in several parts of the New Delhi due to the violence. Mobile Internet services were also suspended for 12 hours at 5 protest sites in Delhi.
Farmers’ Union leaders have appealed people to maintain peace. They have also announced that they will do a foot march to Parliament on February 1, when the annual Budget is scheduled to be presented.
— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2021
Farmer part of protest dies with this violence
This incident of violence has broken the backbone of more than two-months long protest which has been a non-violent protest so far. Almost every farmers’ union leaders had said that there would be no violence. Now, that the violence has occurred, the police administration and Centre would have an upper hand over the farmers’ union in the battle of so-called prestige. This could also hurt the farmers in the Supreme Court whenever they are asked to hear a plea on in it. The farmer part of protest has now died after this violent rally. However, farmers union might defend themselves saying that they were instigated and forced to take a violent approach.
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