National

Farmers’ protests | Police instructed not to fire at agitators

Farmers seen removing police barricade during the January 26 tractor rally, in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Delhi Police was given instructions to not use firearms at agitators as some groups turned violent during the January 26 tractor rally in protest against the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last. Farmers’ unions have alleged that “anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement.”

Also read: Delhi Police detain 200 in connection with Republic Day violence

Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava told The Hindu, “strict legal action is being taken and no one involved in the violent incidents will be spared.”

Police used tear gas and batons and blocked the roads with public buses, containers and concrete barriers that were breached by agitators.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who held a second review meeting on Wednesday, was briefed in detail by Mr. Shrivastava on the law and order situation in the national capital a day after the violence.

“Police cannot be revengeful and there were instructions to not use firearms. The brief was not to further flare up the matter. The police personnel followed the instructions diligently and it took perseverance and patience to control the situation,” said a senior government official.

Intelligence inputs

Though there were intelligence inputs regarding violence during the tractor rally, permission was still given to “pacify” the farmers who have been sitting at Delhi’s border since November 26, the official stated.

Watch | Farmers tractor rally takes chaotic turn

When asked why the intelligence inputs were not taken seriously, he said, “police is part of the government, it cannot unilaterally decide if permission is to be given or not. We have to find a solution. A warning from intelligence was there but the farmers’ union were also apprised about the security aspects.”

Security in the national capital was on heightened alert due to the Republic Day parade and more than 5,000 central armed police forces (CAPF) were deployed in addition to the police.

Also read | Union Home Ministry uses rarely used provision of Act to suspend Internet

Farmer leaders Darshan Pal, Rajinder Singh, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Buta Singh Nurjgil, Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Rakesh Tikait- who held meetings with the police to agree on the tractor routes were named in First Information Reports (FIR) filed on Wednesday.

Deviation from route

Protestors deviated from the route sanctioned by the police for rallies at three locations on the outskirts of Delhi and stormed into central Delhi thereby damaging property and hoisting religious flags at the Red Fort. Several policemen were injured.

Actor Deep Sidhu, a former election agent of BJP parliamentarian Sunny Deol in Punjab’s Gurdaspur who was seen leading the violent protestors at Red Fort on Tuesday, was initially not named in any FIR. However, his name was added in an FIR registered at Kotwali police station later in the day. An official said, “we have not reached any conclusion, the investigation will reveal the conspiracy and other aspects of the case. This is the primary stage of the probe.”

This article was updated post publication.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 4:47:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-protests-police-instructed-not-to-fire-at-agitators/article33676785.ece

Next Story