R-Day farmers tractor rally live updates | Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls off rally with immediate effect

Protesting farmers clash with securitymen during their tractor rally near Nagloi in New Delhi on January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered the city from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole on Republic Day.

While farmer leaders, who have been spearheading the two-month protest at the national capital’s border points to demand a repeal of the farm laws, disowned the protesters, one young man was seen hoisting a yellow triangular flag at the flagpole – the centrepiece of the country’s Independence Day celebrations. The saffron flag was the 'Nishan Sahib', a symbol of Sikh religion seen at all Gurdwara complexes The other flag appeared to be of a farmer union.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 41 farmer unions, alleged that some "antisocial elements" infiltrated their otherwise peaceful movement.

Here are the latest updates:

 

11:35 p.m.

Anti-social elements were behind violence during tractor parade, says Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said that some anti-social elements were behind the violence during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital today.

It was due to the Delhi Police’s “actions” that some anti-social elements entered the parade and caused the violence, he said.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) national spokesman in a statement also alleged 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," Mr. Tikait said, adding that because of this, farmers on tractors went astray.

This gave anti-social elements the opportunity to enter the tractor rally, he claimed.

BKU believes in peaceful demonstration and will identify the miscreants behind the violence.

TMr. ikait urged protesting farmers to keep themselves away from violence. The coordination committee members of the parade will look into the reasons behind the violence, he said.

9.50 p.m.

Police snap power supply to Red Fort

Police snapped power supply to the Red Fort in order to clear the complex of protesters.

"There are no protesting farmers at ITO crossing and the situation is under control," PTI quoted an official as saying.

However, there were still around 500 protesting farmers in the Red Fort till Tuesday late evening while at Mukarba Chowk, hundreds of farmers started moving back to the Singhu border points, the news agency reported quoting another official.

9.30 p.m.

 

Four FIRs against protesters

Delhi Police have registered four FIRs against protesters for damaging public property and attacking police personnel in East Delhi area.

8.20 p.m.

83 police personnel and one civilian injured in today's protest: Delhi Police

According to Delhi Police data, 83 police personnel and one civilian injured in today's protest. Seventy-seven police personnel were injured at ITO, Tilak Marg and Red Fort. Six others were injured at Nangloi, Peeragarhi, Najafgarh and Paschim Vihar. One civilian was injured at Tilak Marg.

-Vijaita Singh

8 p.m.

 

I feel ashamed and take responsibility: Yogendra Yadav

Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav said he felt "ashamed" of the way the farmers' tractor parade turned out, and took responsibility for it.

"Being a part of the protest," he said, "I feel ashamed of the way things proceeded and I take responsibility of it. Violence impacts any kind of protest in a wrong way. I cannot say at the moment who did it and who did not, but prima facie it looks like it has been done by the people that we kept out of the farmers’ protest," Mr. Yadav told a TV channel.

"I appealed continuously that we stick to whatever route was decided and not deviate. Only if the movement goes peacefully, we will be able to win," said Mr. Yadav.

7.43 p.m.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls off rally

Samyukt Kisan Morcha has just issued a statement calling off the Kisan Republic Day Parade with immediate effect, and has appealed to all participants to immediately return to their respective protest sites.

SKM announced the movement will continue peacefully and further steps will be discussed and decided soon.

- Priscilla Jebaraj

7.12 p.m.

 

The police remove the buses at Peeragarhi Chowk to finally allow the farmers to march ahead.

- Ashok Berwal

7 p.m.

Punjab CM orders high alert

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh termed unacceptable the violence perpetrated by certain elements during the tractor rally in Delhi on Tuesday and urged all genuine farmers to immediately vacate Delhi and return to the borders, where they had been protesting peacefully for the past two months.

The Chief Minister ordered a high alert the State amid the tension and violence in Delhi and directed Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta to ensure that law and order in the state is not disturbed at any cost.

Read more
 

6.40 p.m.

Tension builds up at Peeragarhi Chowk with the police having parked buses to block the farmers' way. Meanwhile, more tractors continue to come from Tikri border behind to join those at Peeragarhi Chowk.

- Ashok Berwal

6.30 p.m.

 

The meeting that was going on for a few hours at the residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah has ended. It was attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Delhi police commissioner S.N. Shrivastava and Intelligence Bureau officials.

It was decided to deploy extra paramilitary forces in Delhi, some already deployed, a senior government official told The Hindu.

Several entry points into the city have been sealed as the deployment is increased, eyewitnesses said.

- Vijaita Singh

6.10 p.m.

The police park Delhi Transport Corporation buses at Peeragarhi Chowk to block the tractors from marching ahead.

- Ashok Berwal

6.00 pm

 

5.45 pm

 

The body of the deceased farmer being taken away in the back of a pickup truck, January 26, 2021.

The body of the deceased farmer being taken away in the back of a pickup truck, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Rocky S.

 

Deceased farmer Ranveet Singh's body was taken away in a pickup truck.

- Rocky S.

5.30 pm

Ambulance sought to take body of deceased farmer to native place

Farmers surround the body of a farmer who allegedly died after a tractor overturned at the ITO intersection, January 26, 2021.

Farmers surround the body of a farmer who allegedly died after a tractor overturned at the ITO intersection, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Rocky S.

 

The farmer who died after a  tractor overturned has been identified as Ranveet Singh.

The farmers draped the body in the tricolour and kept it at the ITO crossing, not allowing the police to send it for post-mortem.

Protesters have requested the police to call an ambulance to the ITO to take the body to the deceased's native place in Bilaspur, Uttar Pradesh. Mr. Singh, 25, was his parents' only child and is survived by his wife. He returned to India from Australia around two years ago.

- Saurabh Trivedi, PTI

5.15 pm

Aam Aadmi Party issues statement

“We strongly condemn the violence seen in today's protest. It is regrettable that the Central government allowed the situation to deteriorate to such an extent. The movement has been peaceful for the last two months. Farmer leaders have said that those who indulged in violence today were not part of the movement and were external elements. Whoever they were, the violence has certainly weakened the movement which was going on so peacefully and in a disciplined manner,” said a statement issued by the Aam Aadmi Party.

- Jaideep Deo Bhanj

5.00 pm

Farmers head towards Peergarhi Chowk

Farmers, in tractors, break through the barricades at Nangloi to move towards Peeragarhi Chowk in large numbers. Scores of tractors from Nangloi are now headed towards Peeragarhi Chowk.

Tractors coming in from the Tikri border have gone past the Peeragarhi Chowk without the police trying to stop them.

- Ashok Kumar

4.00 pm

 

3.50 pm

Samyukt Kisan Morcha issues press statement

The complete statement issued by the SKM condemning the "undesirable and unacceptable events" that took place today and disassociated itself from "from all such elements that have violated our discipline."

We thank farmers for the unprecedented participation in today's Farmers Republic Day Parade. We also condemn and regret the undesirable and unacceptable events that have taken place today and dissociate ourselves from those indulging in such acts.

Despite all our efforts, some organisations and individuals have violated the route and indulged in condemnable acts. Anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement. We have always held that peace is our biggest strength, and that any violation would hurt the movement.

The long struggle for more than 6 months now, and more than 60 days of protest at Delhi borders also seemed to have led to this situation.

We dissociate ourselves from all such elements that have violated our discipline. We appeal strongly to everyone to stick to the route and norms of the Parade, and not indulge in any violent action or anything that taints national symbols and dignity. We appeal to everyone to desist from any such acts.

SKM has been trying to get a full picture of all the events with regard to the several Kisan Parades that were planned today and will share a fuller statement soon. Our information is that apart from some regrettable violations, the parades are underway peacefully as per plan.

- Priscilla Jebaraj

3.40 pm

Internet services suspended

Internet services have been interrupted in many areas of Delhi-NCR till further notice.

Internet services have been interrupted in many areas of Delhi-NCR till further notice.   | Photo Credit: Saurabh Trivedi

 

As per government instructions, Internet services have been interrupted in many areas of Delhi-NCR till further notice.

- Saurabh Trivedi

3.20 pm

Delhi Police resort to another round of firing tear gas shells at Nangloi to prevent farmers from marching towards Peeragarhi Chowk.

- Ashok Kumar

2.50 pm

Farmers begin returning to Ghazipur border

Farmers begin returning to the Ghazipur border from the Red Fort, January 26, 2021.

Farmers begin returning to the Ghazipur border from the Red Fort, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Rocky S.

 

Many farmers who had reached Red Fort in the morning have started descending back to the Ghazipur border where they were earlier stationed.

"We had reached Lal Quila in the morning, now we are heading back to Ghazipur," said one of the farmers driving a tractor.

62 years old Jhandha Singh, a sugarcane farmer from Amroha district in U.P., said there were more than 200 farmers from his village Asawar who joined the march towards Delhi today. With road blocked by the Delhi police at Indraprastha Junction towards Central Delhi, Mr. Singh said his group will return to Ghazipur.

- Rocky S.

2.40 pm

"Rogue criminal element" behind violence: AIKS

All India Kisan Sabha general secretary, Hannan Mollah, who is part of the SKM leadership that has been negotiating with the government blamed a "rogue criminal element" for betraying the farmers by engaging in violence.

"We condemn such action. It is not that farmers are out of control. Some rogue criminal elements are causing the problem," he told The Hindu, speaking from Tikri. Noting that protesting farmers had conducted a peaceful agitation for the seven months since the three laws were initially brought in as ordinances, Mr. Mollah said the outburst of violence in some parts of Delhi today was "a conspiracy to give a bad name to farmers".

When it was pointed out that at least one farmers union, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, which is also part of the SKM negotiations with the government had declared that it would defy the police restrictions, Mr. Mollah said such people could be seen as "betrayers".

"If you look all across the country, there may be over a crore people on the streets. There are a few hundred who are breaking rules here. The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee are not a main part of the movement," he said. "Those farmers who are doing this are betrayers to the farmers' cause. Someone who is breaking the rules like this, causing disturbance, actually helps the government to win, and they cannot be called part of the movement."

He admitted that some of the action seen today could hurt the farmers' stance with the government. "Putting up a flag at Red Fort was never the aim for farmers. We want to get the government to listen to our demands. This is not helpful for that aim," added Mr. Mollah.

He also pleaded with news media channels not to keep playing visuals of rioting protestors as this will "instigate" further violence, but rather to focus on the lakhs of farmers who are peacefully participating in parades along the agreed routes. - Priscilla Jebaraj

2.30 pm

Scene at Ghazipur border

Members of Bhartiya Kisan Union are manning the Ghazipur border. There is hardly any police personnel of UP or Delhi Police at the barricades.

At the Delhi Police post at the Ghazipur border, head constable Pradeep Kumar said they didn’t have orders to stop tractors. “We removed the barricades but farmers didn’t follow the agreed route. They were supposed to take a turn from Ghazipur crossing to Anand Vihar and then via Apsara border they were supposed to return to UP Gate.”

He said Rakesh Tikait and his followers wanted to go upto Akshardham and then return. “However, they didn’t even stop at Akshardham and marched further to ITO. It was not something that was agreed upon on Monday night in the meeting at the Ghazipur border. They forced the police to use mild force and tear gas shells. The leadership had failed,” he said.

Raushul Alam, a member of the BKU media team said Mr Tikait tried to stop farmers but a group who arrived early morning didn’t listen to his appeal. “We wanted to go only upto Akshardham and return,” he said.

The situation is also tense at the Apsara/ Dilshad Garden border as scores of tractors are returning from Delhi, choking the GT Road for traffic. - Anuj Kumar

2.20 pm

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel condemns protests

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Tuesday condemned the actions of protesting farmers at the Red Fort, after they entered the monument and hoisted the flag of their movement and the Sikh flag Nishan Sahib.

In a tweet, Mr. Patel said the Red Fort was a symbol of dignity of “our democracy” and that the protesters should have stayed away from it. Terming the incidents sad and unfortunate, he said he condemned the violation of dignity.

The Archaeological Survey of India declined to comment saying the Central Industrial Security Force and the Delhi police would be able to comment since it was a matter of security.

- Damini Nath

2.15 pm

Rahul Gandhi tweets:

"Violence is not a solution to any problem. If anyone is injured, it is the nation that bears the damage. In the interest of the nation, the farm laws should be taken back".

- Sandeep Phukan

2.10 pm

Tractor driver reported dead

A tractor overturned near ITO, New Delhi, killing one person on January 26, 2021.

A tractor overturned near ITO, New Delhi, killing one person on January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

A tractor turned turtle at Minto Road and the tractor driver is reported dead.

- Saurabh Trivedi

2.00 pm

Farmers enter Red Fort

Farmers entering the Red Fort, New Delhi, January 26, 2021.

Farmers entering the Red Fort, New Delhi, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Protesting farmers clashed with police at several places in the national capital and entered the iconic Red Fort and ITO in the heart of national capital, with hundreds of them deviating from pre-decided routes, prompting security personnel to resort to lathi-charge and firing tear gas.

The crowd swelled at the monument as some protesting farmers and 'Nihangs' (traditional Sikh warriors) were seen entering the Red Fort and hoisting a flag from the staff from which prime minister unfurls the tricolour on Independence Day.

A man is reported to have climbed a flagstaff at the Red Fort and hoisted a flag.

On the protesting farmers entering Red Fort, an ASI official said "only Delhi Police and CISF can comment".

- PTI, Damini Nath

2.00 pm

The RAF has been deployed at ITO, New Delhi, January 26, 2021.

The RAF has been deployed at ITO, New Delhi, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Saurabh Trivedi

 

1.45 pm

Farmers' tractors coming in from the Tikri border go past Peeragarhi Chowk in Delhi without any resistance by the police.

- Ashok Kumar

1.15 pm

Police used tear gas, batons as farmers try to enter Rajpath past barricades

Scene at the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi, January 26, 2021.

Scene at the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

The farmers tractor rally turns violent, with police using tear gas and batons against the protestors as they broke through barricades and tried to enter Rajpath.

At 12.30 p.m., a large group of farmers, in tractors, cars and two-wheelers breached the police barrier placed under ITO flyover on Ring Road. The protesters reached ITO crossing and damaged the Delhi Transport Corporation bus placed to stop tractors.

The vandalised Delhi Transport Corporation bus, New Delhi, January 26, 2021.

The vandalised Delhi Transport Corporation bus, New Delhi, January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Saurabh Trivedi

 

Police used tear gas and batons to chase away the farmers. A large group of farmers moved towards Red Fort.

The scene continues to be tense at ITO, with rounds of tear gas being fired by police.

- Saurabh Trivedi

12.45 pm

 

12.30 pm

'Test of physical and mental strength', says protesting farmer

At Delhi's Mukarba Chowk, security personnel used tear gas on groups of farmers as they tried to break barricades and cemented barriers with tractors at Delhi's Mukarba Chowk.

An official said that police personnel used tear gas on groups of farmers coming from the Singhu border point to disperse them after they tried to hold their march on Outer Ring Road.

Gyan Singh, 65, from Punjab's Firozpur walked on foot, said it is a test of his physical and mental strength, adding they "will keep walking till the last point." "We have been enduring the vagaries of weather for months now. It doesn't deter us. This should give a message loud and clear... we accept nothing but a win," said Rampal Singh, 62, from Haryana's Kaithal.

- PTI

12.30 pm

Police lob tear gas shells near Nangloi

Ashok Kumar

Farmers marching on foot towards the Peeragarhi Chowk in Delhi on January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Ashok Kumar

 

Farmers leave their tractors behind to breach Tikri border route for the parade and march on foot towards Peeragarhi Chowk. Few tractors also manage to break through the barricades to march towards Peeragarhi Chowk.

Police lob tear gas shells near Nangloi to prevent the farmers from marching towards Peeragarhi Chowk. Several tractors and protesters on foot breach the Tikri route.

- Ashok Kumar

11.50 am

Entry to 11 metro stations shut

In view of the farmers' tractor parade, entry to eleven metro stations in Delhi along the green line have been shut. The affected stations are as follows:

  • Brigadier Hoshiar Singh
  • Bahadurgarh City
  • Pandit Shree Ram Sharma
  • Tikri Border
  • Tikri Kalan
  • Ghevra
  • Mundka Industrial Area
  • Mundka
  • Rajdhani Park
  • Nangloi Railway Station
  • Nangloi
11.30 am

'Private vehicles causing problems'

Leader of a farmers' union said that private vehicles are infiltrating the march and creating trouble.

According to All-India Mewati Samaj president Ramzan Chaudhary, only around 500 tractors are part of the tractor parade in Haryana's Nuh. But the police allowed private vehicles to infiltrate our march, thus creating problems, he says.

11 am

Stopped by police

Members of KMSC, who had commenced the tractor parade from Singhu border towards Delhi's outer ring road have been stopped by the police, a member of the outfit told The Hindu.

KMSC press secretary Vicky said that police used water cannon to stop the convoy near Karnal bypass.

Volunteers at the parade, meanwhile, made appeals to the farmers on tractors to march in a queue and not overtake each other. Despite the instructions from SKM, many farmers are travelling on tractors roofs and bonnets.

10.30 am

Two different groups

Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Yogendra Yadav said that the farmers group breaking through the barricades at Singhu border were not part of the joint coalition of farmer unions spearheading the protests.

The hundreds of farmers on tractors who have removed the barriers at Singhu border and are currently on the road towards Delhi are from the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), according to leaders of SKM, the wider front of all farmer unions.

"The official SKM parade has not started yet," said Kavitha Kuruganti, speaking from the Singhu border. She also claimed that even the KMSC group "did not cause any trouble. They are riding on the set route in a disciplined fashion," she added.

Later, Ms. Kuruganti said that "Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri parades have started peacefully."

"Shahjahanpur is yet to start and barricades are being removed. There is still some confusion being resolved with regard to Palwal route," she added.

At around 10.20 a.m., other unions of the wider SKM got on the road as well. Earlier, SKM leaders had announced via loudspeakers from the stage at the Singhu border that the tractor march would start at 10 a.m. They urged protestors not to remove or go past the barricades. They appealed to them to wait for the Delhi Police to remove the barricades.

"Don't give anyone a chance to find fault with us," said a leader on stage, urging protestors to follow the pilot vehicle.

 

Glimpses from the rally

Police use teargas as farmers breach the barricades during their Republic Day tractor parade at Mukarba Chowk in Delhi

Police use teargas as farmers breach the barricades during their Republic Day tractor parade at Mukarba Chowk in Delhi   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

 

Farmers head to Delhi during their Republic Day Tractor Parade in New Delhi on Tuesday

Farmers head to Delhi during their Republic Day Tractor Parade in New Delhi on Tuesday   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A glimpse of the police barricades cast aside as protesting farmers take out their Republic Day Tractor Parade ahead of schedule

A glimpse of the police barricades cast aside as protesting farmers take out their Republic Day Tractor Parade ahead of schedule   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

 

The protesting unions has also announced a foot march to Parliament on February 1, when the annual Budget is presented, to press for their demands including a repeal of the three new agriculture laws.

Heavy security has been deployed in view of the 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' that will move into Delhi from the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points.

(With inputs from Vikas Vasudeva from Punjab and PTI)

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:39:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/farmers-at-tikri-border-points-enter-delhi-breaking-police-barricade/article33664570.ece

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