India

Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: Two farm unions break away from protest, condemn R-Day violence

Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: Two farmer unions – Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) – Wednesday separated themselves from the ongoing farmer protesters at Delhi borders, a day after the protesting farmers engaged in violent clashes with police on Republic Day.

“The farmers’ movement will continue for as long as the issue of MSP guarantee stands but not in this way. We have not come here for people to be martyred or to get them beaten up. We can’t support taking forward the movement with people who want to take it in another direction,” Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan leader V M Singh said, referring to Rakesh Tikait. “We have come only to get a guarantee for MSP.”

The Delhi Police Wednesday detained around 200 protesters on charges of rioting, damaging public property and attacking police personnel during the Republic Day violence on Tuesday. The police have also filed 22 FIRs so far that mention the names of at least 10 farm leaders, including Yogendra Yadav and Rakesh Tikait.

Security has been tightened in several places across the national capital especially at the Red Fort and farmer protest sites, with the deployment of additional paramilitary forces following the violence.

After two months of peaceful protests on Delhi’s borders and 11 rounds of negotiations with the central government, the Republic Day tractor parade spiralled into chaos Tuesday.  One protester died when his tractor overturned while ramming a road barrier at ITO, and scores were injured, as mobs resorted to violence and vandalism while forcing their way to the Red Fort and hoisting their flag there. As the night fell, the Red Fort was secured, the flags removed and protesters made to vacate the premises.

(Reported by Aranya Shankar, Sofi Ahsan, Sourav Roy Barman, Ashna Butani, Sukrita Baruah, and Sakshi Dayal from Delhi. Raakhi Jagga, Kamaldeep Singh Brar, and Sukhbir Siwach reported from Punjab and Haryana)

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Farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally violence: 200 detained, 22 FIRs registered; Yogendra Yadav, Rakesh Tikait named in FIRs; two farm unions call-off protest; security tightened in Delhi. Follow the latest news below

19:34 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Commuters face hardships due to traffic restrictions on key routes in Delhi

Following the violence on January 26 and updates about heavy traffic raised apprehensions of commuters to Delhi as several cab drivers refused to come to the national capital from adjoining areas on Wednesday.

People travelling from bordering or far-off areas like Noida, Faridabad and Narela, had to either reschedule their plans or wait longer to take cabs or autos.

“No one is willing to go towards central Delhi. They fear roads are blocked, I showed a driver the traffic advisory too, but he did not want to take a risk. I had to go by metro for a particular distance and then take an auto, which also could not drop me till last destination,” said a commuter from Noida, who did not wish to be identified.

Another commuter said, “The updates about closure of entry and exit gates of few metro stations are changing every now and then these days and cab drivers are also apprehensive to go. I changed my plans when I couldn’t get a cab, will go next week now when situation normalises.”

Commuters on Wednesday faced hardships in reaching their destinations due to traffic restrictions on key routes in the national capital, a day after violence broke out during farmers’ tractor parade in the city. (PTI)

19:16 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Farmer leaders considering postponement of Feb 1 foot march to Parliament in wake of violence

The protesting farmer leaders are considering postponement of their foot march to Parliament on February 1 against the three farm laws in the wake of violence in the national capital during the tractor parade on Republic Day.

A senior farmer leader said the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is an umbrella body of the protesting unions, will take a final call on postponement of the February 1 foot march.

“In view of violence during tractor parade, we are considering to postpone our proposed foot march to Parliament, which was scheduled to be take place on February 1. However, a final will be taken by the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha,” said a senior member of the umbrella body.

Another member said this was not a favourable time for the foot march to Parliament and it can be deferred. (PTI)

18:33 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Protesters at Masani move back to Haryana-Rajasthan border today

Following an ultimatum by panchayats of 20 villages in Rewari to empty the area, protestors who had been demonstrating at Masani barrage have moved back to the Haryana-Rajasthan border today. Villagers said the ultimatum was given due to yesterday’s violence.

18:15 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Some farmers remove tents at site of border protests

Some farmers seen taking off their tents at Chilla border.

17:49 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Not involved in January 26 violence: Lakha Sidhana

Gangster-turned-social activist Lakhbir Singh aka Lakha Sidhana on Wednesday distanced himself from the violence during the tractor parade in New Delhi on Republic Day and he and some farmer leaders only marched up to the Outer Ring Road in the national capital.

“I am pained at the incidents that took place on Tuesday but I am not involved in these. 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,” Sidhana, who is in his 40s, told PTI over phone.

He said nearly 20 farmer leaders went till Ring Road with their cadres in a peaceful manner and returned soon after. On being asked that they were not allowed to go up to the Ring Road, Sidhana claimed popular sentiment was in support of it as farmer unions had announced first on January 2 and then on January 17 that they will carry out the tractor rally there.

He accused the government and police of conspiring against the farmers’ agitation and distanced himself from the allegations of instigating protesters, saying he always called for peace. (PTI)

17:48 (IST)27 JAN 2021

BJP planted stooge Deep Sidhu to create chaos in tractor rally: AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday alleged that the BJP planted its “stooge” actor Deep Sidhu to create “chaos” in farmers’ tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.

At a press conference, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha, while questioning the connection between Sidhu and BJP, showed several photos purportedly of the actor with various BJP leaders.

“The BJP planted their stooge Deep Sidhu to create chaos in farmers’ tractor parade,” Chadha said. (PTI)

17:32 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Why didn’t Centre have intelligence on possibility of violence: TMC

Trinamool Congress: How could protesters enter into Red Fort breaching security. Why didn’t Centre have intelligence inputs on possibility of violence during farmers’ tractor parade in Delhi. (PTI)

17:16 (IST)27 JAN 2021

‘Modi govt wants to malign farmers movement’, says Congress, demands Amit Shah’s resignation

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala Wednesday accused the Narendra Modi-led central government of maligning the farmers’ protest over the Republic Day violence in Delhi and demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah for failing to maintain law and order in the national capital.

At a press conference, Surjewala asked how did Deep Sidhu, who was clicked with PM Modi and Amit Shah, managed to take protesters to the Red Fort. “This is the conspiracy by the government to remove the protesters,” he said.

17:10 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Famers take out march at Tikri border
16:51 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) breaks away from protesting farm factions

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) leader Bhanu Pratap Singh has parted ways with farm protests, condemning the Republic Day violence.

16:37 (IST)27 JAN 2021

All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee breaks away from protesting farm factions

A day after the protesting farmers clashed with the police on Republic Day, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination leader V M Singh has said his faction is breaking away from the protest. ‘We can’t carry forward a protest with someone whose direction is something else. So, I wish them the best but VM Singh and All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee are withdrawing from this protest right away,’ ANI quoted him as saying.

He also blamed BKU’s Rakesh Tikait for pressuring the farmers to take a different route than the one designated for the tractor rally on Republic Day.

16:33 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Day after R-Day clash, Ghazipur protest site presents a picture in contrast

A day after the tractor parade on Republic Day by the protesting farmers on Delhi’s borders took a violent turn, leading to scuffles with the police and the eventual storming of the iconic Red Fort, the gathering at the protest site in Ghazipur thinned significantly on Wednesday.

It was from the Ghazipur site that a sizeable chunk of protesters first broke away on Tuesday from their designated route towards central Delhi. Navneet Singh, the farmer who died in the eventual melee, had been among the ones who left the Ghazipur site on Republic Day.

On Wednesday afternoon, however, the crowd had thinned out and the site seemed a lot quieter. Activities on the stage concluded around 1.45 pm after shraddhanjali (tribute) to the deceased protester, and the numbers, too, shrunk considerably thereafter. Read this report by Sukrita Baruah

16:13 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Amit Shah reviews law & order situation

Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviews law & order situation, measures taken to ensure peace in Delhi. (PTI)

16:11 (IST)27 JAN 2021

INLD MLA Abhay Chautala resigns from Haryana Assembly over farm laws

Abhay Chautala, the lone MLA of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the Haryana Assembly, handed over his resignation to Speaker in protest over the Centre’s three new farm laws.

Chautala drove a tractor to the Vidhan Sabha with his supporters and tendered his resignation to Speaker Gian Chand Gupta. Gupta accepted his resignation.

Earlier this month, Chautala, who represents Ellanabad Assembly constituency, had offered to resign from State Assembly if the Union government fails to repeal the three farm legislations. He had sent a letter to the Speaker expressing his solidarity with the farmers and had asked him to consider it as his resignation. However, the Speaker had not accepted the letter, saying that “a conditional letter cannot be considered as the MLA’s resignation”.

15:39 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Concerted conspiracy to malign peaceful movement: Digvijaya Singh on R-Day clashes

Speaking on the Republic Day clashes, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, “At the Ghazipur border, the police barricaded the route which was the planned route for the tractor rally. Then police used tear gas which precipitated the violence that ensued.

“The farmers have handed over 15 people who started the violence yesterday. They have been found to have govt identity cards. Now you only understand who is in the govt. This was an act of concerted conspiracy to malign a peaceful movement,” he added.

15:37 (IST)27 JAN 2021

We came for MSP, not hooliganism: All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee

“We came for MSP, not hooliganism. Action must be taken against those who took different route. It was shameful. We’ll have to see how to go ahead with those who want to break agitation. Press conference at 4 pm”: Sardar VM Singh, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, tell ANI.

15:12 (IST)27 JAN 2021

R-Day violence: Police FIRs name Tikait, Yogendra Yadav

Delhi Police has registered FIRs in connection with the violence during Tuesday’s tractor rally that mention the names of at least 10 farm leaders, including Yogendra Yadav and Rakesh Tikait. Senior officers said police have registered 22 FIRs across 10 districts under IPC sections of rioting, criminal conspiracy, robbery, attempt to murder and others.A senior police officer said they will summon the farm leaders in the coming days for questioning.

“We have already detained around 200 protesters on charges of rioting, damaging public property and attacking police personnel,” an officer said.Police said more than 300 police personnel were injured, most of them during clashes at ITO and Red Fort. “We are making arrests after conducting proper verification. We are also looking into CCTVs near Red Fort, ITO, Nangloi and other areas where the violence erupted,” the police said.Anil Mittal, Additional PRO (Delhi Police), said, “We have registered 22 FIRs in connection with Tuesday’s violence where hundreds of policemen were injured.”(Reported by Mahender Singh Manral)

14:39 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Samyukt Kisan Morcha blames Deep Sidhu, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee for R-Day violence

Statement issued by Samyukt Kisan Morcha

Most of the farmer organizations who are part of the ongoing farmers’ agitation today held an emergency meeting under the chairmanship of Shri Balbir Singh Rajewal. Sincere appreciation was conveyed to the struggling farmers for extending an unprecedented response to the Kisan Republic Day Parade.

The concerned organisations discussed the violent incidents in New Delhi and concluded that Union Govt. has been severely shaken by this peasant agitation. 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. They were not part of the organisations which jointly undertook the struggle.

When the farmer organizations declared a programme of Kisan Parade on 26 January, anti-social elements like Deep Sidhu and others, along with the said farmer organization attempted to torpedo the farmers’ agitation.

Under this conspiracy, the said Kisan organisation and other persons announced that they would march on Ring Road and unfurl a flag on the Red Fort. As a corollary of conspiracy, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee started marching on the Ring Road, two hours before the scheduled march of the struggling organisations. It was a deep rooted conspiracy to knock down the peaceful and strong farmers’ struggle.

All the constituents of Samyukt Kisan Morcha strongly condemned this incident.

The struggling organisations appealed to the farmers to stay on the protest venues and continue a peaceful struggle. The farmers’ organisations resolved to continue this agitation and harshly condemned the government and its administration, the said farmers’ organisation and anti-social elements, who tried to damage the peaceful farmers struggle.

The organisations resolved not to allow the government and other forces inimical to the peaceful movement to break this struggle. Yesterday’s events exposed and isolated the anti-farmer forces clearly.

An emergency meeting of 32 organizations is called on 27 January to chalk out the future programme. All the farmers leaders were present in the meeting along with Shri Balbir Singh Rajewal and Shri Jagjeet Singh Dallewal.

14:22 (IST)27 JAN 2021

Damaged cameras, ransacked offices: Red Fort a day after mob vandalism
Ticket counters, security posts, baggage area, toilets, cabins for the officials, railings, audio-visual equipment, CCTV cameras were vandalised by protesters at the Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express photo by Ananya Tiwari)

Shards of glass, broken turnstiles, smashed security cameras, and ransacked administrative offices. The scale of the damage caused in Tuesday’s mob violence and vandalism after hundreds of protesters stormed the Red Fort is yet to be fully assessed. But most of the damage was seen, as of yet, outside the Red Fort at ticket counters, security posts and baggage scanners. The protesters also vandalised a CISF gypsy.

Visuals from Tuesday’s violence showed police personnel, who were outnumbered, scrambling for cover as the protesters had a free run of the monument. There was vandalism near the ticket counters as protesters ran amok, smashing the panes. Two policemen were rushed out, bleeding from the head.

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