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Delhi Police books farmers for violence at tractor rally

Violence broke out in New Delhi during the tractor rally by farmers opposing agriculture laws (IANS)

The Delhi Police has registered 22 cases against farmers after their tractor rally turned violent in the national capital on India's 72nd Republic Day damaging public property and injuring 86 policemen. The FIRs were registered under sections dealing with riots, damage to public property and assault on public servants with weapons.

Tractors as weapons

Violence broke out at numerous places in Delhi after the farmers broke barricades to deviate from the agreed road map for the rally and even used tractors as weapons as they tried to run over security forces who were attempting to stop them from violating the law. The farmers' organisations had agreed to the routes for the tractor rally with the police departments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.


They also charged at the police at various points. A senior police officer told the media: "At ITO, a large group of farmers, who had come from Ghazipur and Singhu borders, attempted to move towards New Delhi district. When they were stopped by the policemen, a section of farmers became violent and broke through the barricades, damaged iron grills and road dividers and even tried to run over policemen deployed at barricades with their tractors."

The farmers entered the Red Fort and hoisted farmer unions' flags as well as Sikh religious flags from a flagpole. They also charged at policemen with their tractors, forcing them to jump over the walls of the fort.

300 artistes rescued

Nearly 300 artistes, including children – part of the official Republic Day parade in Delhi on Tuesday were rescued by police after they were stranded near the Red Fort.

At the Singhu border, farmers led by 'Nihangs' (traditional Sikh warriors) on horses, armed with swords and other sharp-edged weapons charged at the police and broke through several layers of barricades, the Delhi Police said.

The police have begun analysing video footage available to identify the violent protesters, who damaged public property and attacked Delhi Police personnel.

The government suspended internet services due to the violence. Social media platform Twitter said on Wednesday that it has suspended more than 300 accounts spreading misinformation and engaging in spam related to the farmers' tractor rally.

(With agency inputs)