Kisan Morcha Calls Off Tractor Parade after Violence at Red Fort

New Delhi: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha called off the tractor parade by farmers Tuesday and appealed to particiants to immediately return to their respective protest sites. The tractor parade, which began much ahead of the scheduled time, turned violent with farmers opposing the Centre’s new agri laws and police clashing at several areas of the national capital.

“We have called off the farmers’ Republic Day parade with immediate effect and appealed to all participants to immediately return back to their respective protest sites. The movement will continue peacefully and further steps will be discussed and decided soon,” the farmers’ union body said in a statement.

The Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 41 farmer unions, is leading the protest against the three central farm laws at several border points of Delhi.

Chaos prevailed at several places in the national capital earlier today after stick-wielding farmers clashed with police and entered the iconic Red Fort and ITO on Republic Day. In unprecedented scenes, after entering the Red Fort complex, protesters attempted to climb the domes and the ramparts, some clambering up the flagpole to hoist a flag from the same place the prime minister unfurls the tricolour from on Independence Day.

Police later removed protesting farmers from Red Fort premises.

ITO, particularly, witnessed chaotic scenes as protesters could be seen chasing police personnel with sticks and ramming their tractors into the buses parked by police. Amid all this, a protesting farmer also died after his tractor overturned at be seen chasing police personnel with sticks and ramming their tractors into the buses parked by police. Amid all this, a protesting farmer also died after his tractor overturned at ITO, police told PTI.

While the Delhi Police had given permission to farmers protesting against Centre’s three farm laws to conduct their parade on pre-selected routes only, chaos ensued as farmers were adamant on heading towards central Delhi. Security personnel then resorted to lathicharge and tear gas on protesters after hundreds of farmers deviated from their pre-determined routes.

Earlier in the day, groups of protesting farmers camping at Singhu and Tikri border points of the national capital broke police barricades to force their way into the city.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November 28, demanding a complete repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.

Mobile internet services were suspended in three Haryana districts of Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal until 5 pm Wednesday, the state government said Tuesday evening, as violent protests by farmers rocked neighbouring Delhi.

Haryana’s Home Secretary Rajeev Arora said the order is issued to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in the districts.

86 police personnel injured in violence during tractor parade

The Delhi Police on Tuesday said protesting farmers violated the conditions pre-agreed for their tractor parade and indulge in violence and vandalism, leaving 86 of its personnel injured.

In a statement, the police also claimed it did all due diligence in following the conditions for the rally, but the protesters began their march much ahead of the scheduled time and extensive damage to public property was caused during the violence by them.

“The protesters violated conditions fixed for the rally. The farmers began tractor rally before the scheduled time, they also resorted to violence and vandalism,” Delhi Police PRO Eish Singhal said.

“We followed all conditions as promised and did our due diligence but the protest led to extensive damage to public property. Many policemen were also injured during the protest,” Singhal said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells on farmers at Nangloi Chowk in West Delhi after they attempted to deviate from the pre-agreed route to enter the national capital. The agitating farmers broke cement barricades at Nangloi Chowk and Mukarba Chowk following which the police used heavy tear gas shells to disperse the unruly crowd, PTI quoted an official as saying.

The official said that police personnel used tear gas to disperse groups of farmers coming from the Singhu border point as they tried to take out a march on the Outer Ring Road — Indian Express