A tractor set on fire by Punjab Youth Congress Workers (PYCW) to protest the passing of agriculture reform bills by the President, at India Gate in New Delhi on Monday.(HT Photo)
A tractor set on fire by Punjab Youth Congress Workers (PYCW) to protest the passing of agriculture reform bills by the President, at India Gate in New Delhi on Monday.(HT Photo)

Four Youth Congress office holders among five more held for burning tractor at India Gate

The police on Tuesday also wrote to Punjab Police, demanding action against four Punjab Police personnel who had allegedly escorted the group of protesters to India Gate on Monday morning.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 30, 2020 05:30 AM IST

The Delhi Police has arrested five more people, including the Punjab Youth Congress president Brinder Singh Dhillon, who had allegedly led the group that had set afire a tractor at India Gate on Monday morning.

On Monday, around 7.30 am, Dhillon and 20-25 others had set a tractor on fire at Rajpath near India Gate lawns in support of the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the newly passed farm laws.

The police on Tuesday also wrote to Punjab Police, demanding action against four Punjab Police personnel who had allegedly escorted the group of protesters to India Gate on Monday morning.

Police said of the five men arrested on Tuesday, four are affiliated with the Youth Congress.

Apart from Dhillon, who was arrested from a luxury hotel in Delhi, the others were identified as Harish Panwar, national general secretary of All India Youth Congress; Abraham Roy Mani, national general secretary of the All India Youth Congress; and Bunty Shelke, secretary of the All India Youth Congress, who is also in charge of Punjab Youth Congress.Police also arrested a driver, Omprakash, a resident of Pathankot, who had come to Delhi with the other protesters.

Deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said police received information that Dhillon was staying at a city hotel. “We sent our team there and he was arrested. Based on the information he gave, the other three Youth Congress members were arrested from different parts of the city. They have all been charged under Section 3 of the Epidemic Act, 51(B) Disaster Management Act, Section 4 of the Damage to Public Property Act, and under relevant Indian Penal Code sections for creating mischief by fire, and obstructing public way, among others.

Singhal confirmed that the Delhi Police has also written to Punjab Police on Tuesday, demanding disciplinary action against four policemen who had escorted Dhillon and others in uniform up to India Gate.

Punjab Youth Congress vice president Gurjot Singh Dhindsa said they have no regrets and are ready to face any legal action. “We are fighting for the rights of Punjab farmers. Another protest is being planned Delhi but I cannot share details,” he said.

Police said the group was not stopped by any policemen as they were accompanied by policemen and, hence, could successfully reach Rajpath, where the tractor was set afire.Police had arrested five men on Monday. The men had even raised slogans of ‘Jai jawan jai kisan’ and ‘Bhagat Singh amar rahein’ in support of the farmers’ agitation . The protesters went live on social media and clicked group pictures alongside the burning tractor. They were also carrying a picture of Bhagat Singh, police said.

Following the incident, the Delhi Police has stepped up security in and around India Gate. The police have also tightened security across the city’s borders last week, amid the ongoing farmers’ protest in Punjab and Haryana against the newly passed farm bills.

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