This time, Republic Day was a little different and came with a lot of unexpected incidents. Everyone’s eye was on the pre-scheduled tractor parade of January 26, 2021, which was proposed by the Farmers’ Unions in connection to their demands to repeal the three contentious farm bills.
Delhi Police has registered 22 FIRs so far in connection to the violence that happened on Tuesday. The Tractor Rally ended in anarchy in the various locations of Delhi where tens of thousands of protestors broke the barriers, clashed with police, and overturned vehicles. Hoisting their religious flag at iconic Red Fort was the highlight of Tractor Parade violence which parted the public into supporters and opponents.
Over 300 police personnel were injured during the clash as reported by the Delhi police. The police also claimed that DCP Central’s operator was attacked with a sword during the ongoing clashes in ITO.
“The first task is to register criminal cases in each incident of violence and hence multiple FIRs will be filed. Once an FIR is filed then the process of identifying the suspects will start. Conspiracy to carry out violence needs to back with evidence which will include CDR analysis, witnesses statement,” told a source.
The fresh FIR is registered against unknown farmers including a 27-year old protesting farmer who died after his tractor overturned while he was ramming into the barricade. Delhi police released CCTV footage to refute the claims that the deceased was hit by a tear gas shell by police personnel.
As per the Sayunkt Kisan Morcha (SKM), after several rounds of meetings with Delhi police, they proposed ‘Kisan Tractor Rally’ on Republic Day.
The police said that the farmers had given an undertaking to take out a peaceful tractor rally on four agreed routes. “Instead of going on the pre-decided route, they insisted upon going towards central Delhi and despite repeated requests, the farmers, led by Nihangs on their horses and equipped with swords, kirpans, and fursas, had charged at the police and broke through several layers of barricades, which were erected between Mukarba Chowk and Transport Nagar,” said Delhi police.
Similar incidents were reported at the borders of Gazipur and Tikri. The police also stated that the farmers at the Gazipur border broke through the barricades at several points and headed for ITO, where they were joined by the farmers who had come from the Singhu border.
The police officials further added, “At the Tikri border also, the farmers did not agree to the pre-decided plan and fought with police. They not only broke barricades but also attacked police vehicles and personnel with deadly weapons. Instead of turning towards Najafgarh, they headed towards Peeragarhi and further towards the central part of the national capital.”
The official statement from Delhi police also stated, “At ITO, a large group of farmers, who had come from Ghazipur and Singhu borders, had attempted to move towards Luytens’ Delhi. When they were stopped by policemen, a group of these farmers became violent and broke the barricades, damaged iron grills and dividers and even tried to run over the policemen deployed at these barricades.”
“However, police personnel succeeded in stopping them from entering Lutyens’ Delhi. Meanwhile, some farmers also indulged in vandalism and attacked policemen. Later, they changed their plans and moved towards Red Fort,” the statement said.
“At Red Fort, they broke the gates and entered its wells. A section of the crowd also managed to climb atop the rampart of the Red Fort where they hoisted their organisation’s flag. Police had managed to remove the crowd from the rampart,” said Delhi police in the official statement.