Sonepat cops’ clean chit to man held by farmers at Singhu border
By Sunil Rahar
The Sonepat police on Saturday gave a clean chit to a man detained by farmers agitating at Singhu borders the previous day, for allegedly attempting to enginer violence at their protest site or during the upcoming tractor rally on Republic Day, as senior police officers claimed the man had made “false statements” before the media. Farm union leaders said they will discuss the matter with the police on Sunday.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Sonepat superintendent of police Jashandeep Randhawa said the force had formed a three-member team of senior officials to investigate the matter.
“During investigations, the arrested man, Yogesh, said he had made false statements before the media on Friday night. A medical examination found injury marks on his back side. The man claimed he had made incorrect statements due to farmers’ pressure, and alleged that the protesters had thrashed him. The investigating team found that the youth had no intention of triggering violence at the protest site and farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day,” he added.
Kulwant Singh Sandhu, general secretary of Jamhuri Kisan Sabha in Punjab, said, “What else can we expect from the police when that person himself had said that he was sent by a Haryana police official? We will discuss this matter on Sunday and raise it with the police.”
In a video message, the man’s mother said her son had left the house on January 20 and had not returned home since.
“In the early hours of Saturday, the police came to my house and took away his father. My son is unemployed, and I don’t know why the police arrested him. He can’t incite violence,” she added.
The farmers had on Friday presented the man detained by them, who said 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.”
The press conference, held late on Friday, was soon interrupted with some men seemingly in police uniform taking the masked man away.