Updated: January 31, 2021 6:44:29 pm
Initial investigation by the Delhi Police into the vandalism at Red Fort by a section of farm protesters who veered off the designated route on Republic Day has indicated that at least five of those identified have criminal records in Punjab and were picked up by state police earlier, sources told The Sunday Express.
Raids are on to arrest them, sources said.
An estimated 1,000 people, on 30-40 tractors and around 150 motorcycles and cars, had forcibly entered Red Fort premises, where they chased and assaulted policemen, looted their anti-riot gear, held some hostage inside a public toilet and vandalised the ticket counter, according to an FIR based on a complaint by SHO (Kotwali) Rituraj.
Sources said that after scanning footage from several CCTV cameras, police have identified some men. “Details on the background of five to six of them have been verified with Punjab Police. Some have an attempt to murder case in the past, while others have been arrested over brawls,” said a source.
Sources also said some violent protesters have been identified as residents of Delhi and police are collecting evidence before making arrests.
Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said they have so far registered 38 cases in connection with the farmers’ rally, and arrested 84 persons.
On Saturday, a forensic team reached Red Fort to collect evidence. Sources also said probe officers are trying to get details of tractors using their registration numbers. “We will trace the owners and summon them for questioning. We will also match their details using a face recognition system,” said a senior police officer.
In a statement released Thursday, police had alleged that the protesters had a “pre-conceived and well-coordinated” plan to break the security agreement reached between the police and farm leaders for the tractor rally.
The Delhi Police has issued a Lookout Notice against several farmer leaders and their passports will be seized in the days ahead, a senior officer said.
“We have recovered more than 1,700 CCTV clips and footage from government agencies is also being retrieved. A team from Forensic University, Gujarat has been called in to analyse the videos,” a senior police officer said.
Youth who hoisted Nishan Sahib had returned from Nigeria last year
22-year-old Jugraj Singh of Wan Tara Village in Tarn Taran district who is alleged to have raised Nishan Sahib at Red Fort on Republic Day was an “unemployed youth” who had “returned from Nigeria last year”, according to Punjab police.
Police sid Jugraj had no criminal record and went with the convoy of villagers “with a contingent of over 20 tractor trolleys.”
A senior Punjab police official said his phone was switched off and his family had left the villlage. The official said the family owned four acres of land and Jugraj’s father owed allegiance to a Nihang sect. The official said Jugraj was in touch with “a couple of persons who faced cases under NDPS Act.”
The official added that Jugraj had two siblings, a sister who was married and another unmarried.
Delhi police on Friday conducted raids in Jalandhar district in connection with nabbing Jugraj’s acquaintances.
A senior Punjab police officer however said the raids were conducted at the place of his acquaintances who had not participated in the farm protests and who were linked to him around two decades ago as they had settled in Jalandhar.
The Delhi police raid was conducted in Basti Bawa Khel locality in Jalandhar.
Delhi police, as per a top Punjab police official, arrested 22-year-old Ranjit Singh who hailed from Nawanshahr district for attacking Alipur Station House Officer Pardeep Dhaliwal. (ENS)
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