IN A security breach, a group of men, including several members of the Youth Congress’s Punjab unit, set a tractor on fire at Rajpath, near the India Gate lawns, on Monday morning, to protest against the farm Bills.
Six men have been arrested so far. According to police investigation, the men entered Delhi after four PSOs (personal security officers) posted with Brinder Singh Dhillon, president of the Punjab Youth Congress, escorted them in a gypsy. Delhi Police said they plan to send a letter to their counterparts in Punjab seeking departmental action against these policemen.
When contacted, DCP (New Delhi district) Dr Eish Singhal said, “15 to 20 persons had gathered in Rajpath at around 7.15-7.30 am and tried to set a tractor on fire. The fire was doused and the tractor was removed. We have registered an FIR and arrested six members of Youth Congress. A search is on for Brinder and the others.”
With Mansingh Road and the surrounding area in New Delhi district designated as a high security zone through the year, Section 144 is in place.
A PCR call was made at 7.42 am and two fire tenders, as well as several senior police officers, were rushed to the spot.
The Punjab Youth Congress posted a video on its Facebook page which showed the tractor being unloaded from a truck and set on fire.
The Indian Youth Congress tweeted: “Our country thrives on the blood and sweat of our farmers. From fighting the British to feeding the entire nation, our farmers are the nation’s backbone. On #BhagatSingh’s birth anniversary Youth Congress set ablaze a tractor in protest against the govt’s anti-farmer Bills”.
“Eyewitnesses informed the police that they also raised slogans of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ and clicked group pictures with the burning tractor. Some also went live on social media from the spot, clicked pictures and shot videos. They were also carrying effigies,” said a senior police officer.
An officer said the incident came to light when a police patrolling vehicle spotted the fire, but the men had fled by then. “We have arrested six men identified as Manjot Singh (36), Raman Deep Singh Sandhu (28), Rahul Kumar (23), Sahib (28), Sumit Singh (28) and Omprakash — all from Punjab. Our initial investigation has revealed that they left (for Delhi) last night and were escorted by PSOs of Brinder — that’s why they were not stopped at any security checkpoint. We are now writing a letter to Punjab Police informing them about their conduct and asking for departmental action against them,” Sing hal said.
Police said the accused entered Delhi through Singhu border. Delhi Police had stepped up its security at the border areas last week amid the ongoing farmers’ protest in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.
Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta and Punjab ADGP (Security) S S Srivastava did not answer calls or respond to text messages seeking a comment.
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