Earlier, the Delhi Police proposed a route map to the farmers where they could hold a tractor rally on January 26.(ANI file photo)
Earlier, the Delhi Police proposed a route map to the farmers where they could hold a tractor rally on January 26.(ANI file photo)

Farmers at Singhu border allege bid to infiltrate, spark violence

The development came on a day when talks between the farmers and the government broke down, and they said they will go ahead with their January 26 tractor rally inside the national capital – a demonstration that the government is attempting to avert.
By shiv sunny, Anvit Srivastava
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:14 AM IST

Farmers gathered at the Singhu border late on Friday alleged attempts to engineer violence at their protest site or during their upcoming tractor rally on Republic Day, with union leaders saying they had detained a man who was moving suspiciously among them.

The development came on a day when talks between the farmers and the government broke down, and they said they will go ahead with their January 26 tractor rally inside the national capital – a demonstration that the government is attempting to avert.

The farmers presented the man detained by them, who said that he and “dozens of other men and women” were attempting to bring weapons into the site to kill multiple people. The man, who was masked, did not identify at whose behest he was working but said his handlers had told the group “that the protesters were bad people, fighting for the wrong cause and are our enemies”.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said, “It is a matter of probe who was being benefitted by disrupting our movement. Everyone knows ours is a peaceful protest. He (the masked man) says he works for money. We need to know who is funding him”.

Soon, the press conference was interrupted with some men seemingly in police uniform taking the masked man away.

HT could not verify the identity of the man detained, the personnel who took him away or the allegations made by the unions.

Earlier, the Delhi Police proposed a route map to the farmers where they could hold a tractor rally on January 26. Police officers did not share details of the proposed route but the farmers had been told to take out the rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway on the periphery of the capital.

The farmer groups confirmed they had received a proposal from the police but said they would respond only after holding a meeting on Saturday. They had planned the rally on the Outer Ring Road and had assured the police that it will be completely peaceful and that the protesters will not try to reach other areas in the city.

Police officers have maintained that no official permission has yet been given to the protesters for the rally since it could create a law and order problem on the Republic Day and trigger traffic chaos.

A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, said they are waiting for the farmer’s response and the future course of action would be decided accordingly.

In the afternoon, however, there was some ruckus near Vigyan Bhawan when a group of farmers heading to the meeting with the Centre alleged that their car was stopped by the police and the rear windshield of the vehicle was broken by cops.

Police officials said that every vehicle carrying farmers, coming to Vigyan Bhawan from Singhu Border, is escorted the police. Senior officials said they did not have any information about the vehicle joining the police escort and it was therefore stopped before Vigyan Bhawan. “On this, the farmers in the car got agitated and themselves damaged the car using a baton. There was no police action in this incident,” a senior officer said, who wished not to be named.

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