Demonstrators at Red Fort during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day. (Sanjeev Verma/HT photo)
Demonstrators at Red Fort during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day. (Sanjeev Verma/HT photo)

Tractor rally violence: Centre provoked farmers, says Shiv Sena's Saamana

Saamana editorial says that the Centre wanted to discredit farmers’ peaceful protest, something that had peacefully been going on for 60 days
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:54 AM IST

Shiv Sena on Thursday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government, with an aim to discredit farmers’ peaceful protest against the three new farm laws, provoked them to commit violence. In an editorial in Saamana, Sena said that nobody supports the violence that erupted in the national Capital on Republic Day but the farmers alone can’t be blamed for it.

Farmers participating in the January 26 tractor rally broke the police barricades and entered Delhi, going right up to Red Fort.

“For the last 60 days, the farmers’ movement has been going on in a peaceful manner seeking repeal of three agricultural laws that are opposed to the interests of the country’s farmers. Despite this, there was no split in the movement. Despite being called Khalistani, the farmers remained calm,” the editorial said.

It added , it was the “desire of the government to discredit the movement by provoking the farmers to commit violence. If it had fulfilled its desire on January 26, then it has brought the country disrepute. It is easy to say that farmers took law in their hands.”

“The crowd which gathered at the Red Fort was led by a young man named Deep Sidhu. It has been revealed that Sidhu belongs to the camp of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah. He is also an aide of BJP’s Punjab MP, Sunny Deol. Farmer leaders like Rajesh Tikait say that Sidhu had been talking about revolt and separatism for the past two months while addressing the crowds,” the editorial said.

Also read | Cops register 25 cases after violence on Republic Day

The Sena mouthpiece added that the tricolour at Red Fort was untouched, unlike what the “BJP-backed media” was saying. “BJP-backed media started shouting that agitating farmers insulted the tricolour. But no one put a hand on the tricolour. A religious flag was hoisted on the second dome of the Red Fort, no one is ready to show this truth,” it said.

It added that those who attacked the police should be apprehended and prosecuted. The government should deal strictly with those taking on the law.

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