Updated: February 3, 2021 10:28:44 pm
The ongoing farmers’ protests have caused “inconvenience” and “financial loss” to the residents of Delhi and neighbouring states, the government told Parliament on Wednesday.
“Delhi Police has informed that Ghazipur, Chilla, Tikri and Singhu borders of National Capital are blocked by agitating farmers and it is inconvenient to the residents of Delhi and neighbouring states. In any agitation, there is financial loss incurred by people and governments,” MoS Home G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply to a question on farmers’ protests in Rajya Sabha.
On Tuesday, the government had told Lok Sabha that protesting farmers tried to “furiously force” their way into Delhi, “resorted to rioting”, and did not follow Covid protocols because of which police had to use teargas and resort to lathicharge.
The government gave this answer in reply to questions on the violence that took place in the National Capital on January 26 during the tractor rally organised by farmers who have been demanding the repeal of farm laws passed by the government last year.
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“As regards the use of tear gas and resorting to lathicharge against protesting farmers by the Delhi Police, it has been reported by Delhi Police that at Delhi border, large convoys of protesting farmers in tractor trolleys tried to furiously force their way and go past police barricades to enter Delhi to mark their protest against the recently enacted ‘Farm Laws’,” Reddy had said in a written reply.
“They aggressively resorted to rioting, damage to government property and used criminal force to deter public servants from the discharge of their duty, thereby inflicting injuries to the on-duty police personnel. Moreover, social distancing was not followed by the farmers/protesters and they gathered in large numbers without face masks amid Covid-19 pandemic. The farmers’ actions left the Delhi Police with no option but to use tear gas, water cannons and mild force to control the crowd,” Reddy said.
On the question as to how many cases have been registered against protesting farmers and how many have died during the ongoing protests, Reddy said, “Delhi Police has informed that 39 cases have been registered against the farmers protesting the recently passed ‘Farm Laws’ between September to December, 2020 at Delhi border. Delhi Police has also informed that one suicide case has been reported to them during the protest against Farm Laws at the Delhi border.”
According to farmer unions, close to 170 deaths have taken place during the ongoing protests since November 2020.
Following the January 26 tractor rally, in which protesters forced their way into Delhi and reached the Red Fort where they clashed with the police and hoisted a religious flag, Delhi Police has arrested 122 people of which two farmers are in their 70s and 80s.
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