Farmers' body Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls off tractor rally; 86 cops injured in violence, 4 FIRs registered
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of the 40 farmers' unions, on Tuesday called off the tractor rally and said that their movement will continue peacefully.
It also appealed to all participants to immediately return to their respective protest sites.
In a statement, the SKM said that the "movement will continue peacefully" and further steps will be discussed and decided soon.
The announcement comes after a day of violence in Delhi in which policemen were injured and buses vandalised. The violence started after the farmer organisations deviated from the path decided by the authorities for tractor rally. They pushed towards central Delhi, breaking barricades and facing water cannons.
Some groups of farmers also stormed the Red Fort and hoisted their own flag. In the clashes at the 17th century monument, the policemen were attacked with sticks, leaving some of them injured. By evening, however, these protesters had started returning to their sit-in sites at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders.
At least 19 people were taken to two Delhi hospitals following violence during the tractor rally. Most of them suffered minor injuries and were in need of first aid, according to doctors from the two hospitals.
The Delhi Police registered four FIRs on Tuesday in connection with the violence. "Three FIRs were registered in east district and one in Shahdara district," news agency PTI quoted a police official as saying.
According to Delhi Police, 86 of its personnel were injured in the violence, news agency PTI reported. Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, said legal action will be taken against those who assaulted the police personnel.
"The protesters violated conditions fixed for the rally. The farmers began tractor rally before the scheduled time, they also resorted to violence and vandalism," Delhi Police PRO Eish Singhal said.
The SKM had earlier condemned and regretted the violence that took place in the national capital. It claimed that some "anti-social" elements infiltrated their "peaceful" protest on Republic Day.
"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," the SKM had said in a statement, adding that it dissociates itself from those who have resorted to violence.
The farmers, who have been protesting against three farm laws of the Centre, held the tractor rally to demand the repeal of new acts. Instead of following the marked route, they forcibly entered central Delhi by removing police barricades.
The three laws against which these farmers have been protesting since November 26 are: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
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