DAY AFTER VIOLENCE, FARM LEADERS POSTPONE 1 FEBRUARY MARCH TO THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT
Farmers try to move baricades during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws on the occasion of India's Republic Day at Tikri border near New Delhi, India, January 26, 2021. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
A day after tractor rally called by farmers spiralled out of control and led to violence and chaos in the Indian national capital, farmer leaders on Wednesday decided to postpone their proposed February 1 march to Parliament.
The farmers had decided to march to Parliament to mark their protest against the three contentious farm laws passed by the government in September last year.
The farmers have now said they will hold jan sabhas (public meetings) and a one-day fast on January 30 to mark their condemnation against Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. The protests will be against the forces that killed Gandhi, the farm leaders said.
Stating that most of the farmers were peaceful and a government conspiracy was designed to sabotage the rally, the farm leaders said that despite attempts to break it, 99.9% farmers were peaceful.
"The rally fell prey to government conspiracy. Some incidents took place. The government put the Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee members in front of blockade put for us but there was no blockade for them," Balbir S Rajewal, Bhartiya Kisan Union (R) said minutes after Delhi Poluce held the presser.
However, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha has maintained that agitation against three farm laws will continue and has not been called off.
Carried out peacefully for nearly two months, the protest called by thousands of farmers turned violent after the tractor rally called by them took unapproved routes to enter into the national capital on Republic Day. This, in turn, halted the city-state till evening, crippling several traffic junctions and forcing the government to snap internet connections in parts of Delhi. The protesters also breached India's Mughal-era monument Red Fort and unfurled a flag of their own atop one of the poles, inviting serious flak from citizens and leaders.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday filed at least 25 FIRs in cases related to the violence and chaos.
A majority of these cases have been registered under sections of rioting, causing hurt by dangerous weapons, obstructing police from doing their duty, police have also filed some cases under heinous sections of attempt to murder and attempt to culpable homicide in clashes reported from the Red Fort, ITO and Ghazipur. In one FIR, police are also probing protesters for destroying CCTV cameras on the road.