Farmer unions protesting against the new farm laws Wednesday called off their proposed march to the Parliament on February 1 in view of Republic Day violence. “On Martyrs’ Day, we’ll hold public rallies across India on behalf of the farmers’ agitation. We will also keep a one-day fast. Our March to the Parliament on Feb 1st stands postponed for now due to this (yesterday’s violence),” ANI quoted Balbir S Rajewal, Bhartiya Kisan Union (R), as saying.
Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava Wednesday said the farmer leaders were also involved in the violence that broke out during the tractor rally on Republic Day, adding that they will be questioned. He also said at least 19 persons have been arrested and 50 detained on charges of rioting. The police have also filed 22 FIRs so far that mention the names of at least 10 farm leaders, including Yogendra Yadav and Rakesh Tikait.
Meanwhile, two farmer unions – Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) – Wednesday separated themselves from the ongoing farmer protests at Delhi borders, a day after the protesting farmers engaged in violent clashes with police on Republic Day.
After two months of peaceful protests on Delhi’s borders and 11 rounds of negotiations with the central government, the Republic Day tractor parade spiralled into chaos Tuesday. One protester died when his tractor overturned while ramming a road barrier at ITO, and scores were injured, as mobs resorted to violence and vandalism while forcing their way to the Red Fort and hoisting their flag there. As the night fell, the Red Fort was secured, the flags removed and protesters made to vacate the premises.