Anti-social elements infiltrated peaceful protest: Farm union condemns violence
Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella organisation of over 40 Indian farmers unions, condemned the violence that took place in several areas of the national capital during the tractor rally taken out by farmers on Tuesday.
"Despite all our efforts, some organisations and individuals have violated the route and indulged in condemnable acts. Anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement. We have always held that peace is our biggest strength, and that any violation would hurt the movement," a statement issued by the SKM said.
While the SKM appreciated the "unprecedented" participation of farmers in the rally and thanked them for making it a success, it said the violent events that transpired at some locations were "undesirable and unacceptable".
"We dissociate ourselves from all such elements that have violated our discipline. We appeal strongly to everyone to stick to the route and norms of the Parade, and not indulge in any violent action or anything that taints national symbols and dignity. We appeal to everyone to desist from any such acts," the statement read.
One farmer died and several were injured after clashes broke out between protestors and police in several areas. Police officials also sustained injuries after which they were rushed to the hospital.
While farmers' union leader Yogendra Yadav urged protesters to return to their designated routes and not do anything to malign the movement, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said that those creating disturbances were associated with political parties that were trying to malign the agitation.
"I appeal on behalf of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to all farmers not to pay attention to rumours, also appeal to them to return to their designated routes. Please don’t do any thing that tarnishes the farmers’ movement," Yadav said.
"We know the people who are trying to create disturbance, they are identified. There are people from political parties who are trying to malign the agitation, Tikait said.