Indian Farmers listen to their leader as they continue to block highway leading to Delhi in protest against new farm laws, at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, India, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Talks between protesting farmers’ leaders and the government ended abruptly in a stalemate on Friday with the agriculture minister saying he has nothing more to offer than suspending contentious agricultural laws for 18 months. The farmers’ organizations in a statement on Thursday said they can’t accept anything except the repeal of the three new laws. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)(AP)
Indian Farmers listen to their leader as they continue to block highway leading to Delhi in protest against new farm laws, at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, India, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Talks between protesting farmers’ leaders and the government ended abruptly in a stalemate on Friday with the agriculture minister saying he has nothing more to offer than suspending contentious agricultural laws for 18 months. The farmers’ organizations in a statement on Thursday said they can’t accept anything except the repeal of the three new laws. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)(AP)

Man handed over to Haryana police by farmer leaders being quizzed

The farmer leaders claimed that they caught the man from the protest site at the Singhu border.
PTI, New Delhi/chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:30 PM IST

A man is being questioned by the Haryana police after protesting farmers alleged that a conspiracy was hatched to kill four of their leaders and create disturbance during their proposed tractor parade in Delhi on January 26, officials said on Saturday.

The man was presented before reporters by the protesting farmer leaders on Friday night.

A police official said the man, stated to be around 21 years of age, was being quizzed in Sonipat by the Crime Branch of the state police.

He said the man was residing in Sonipat and had no previous criminal record.

"He was not carrying any arms or ammunition. We are questioning him, but nothing has so far been found that points to any kind of conspiracy, as is being alleged," the official said, adding that further investigations are underway.

At the Singhu border press conference late on Friday night, the farmer leaders presented the man who claimed that his accomplices were asked to pose as policemen and baton-charge the crowd during the proposed tractor parade in the national capital on Republic Day.

The farmer leaders claimed that they caught the man from the protest site at the Singhu border. He was subsequently handed over to the Haryana police.

Farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu alleged that attempts are being made to disrupt the ongoing agitation against three farm laws.

The man, who had his face covered with a scarf, claimed at the press conference that a plan was hatched to shoot four farmer leaders, who are known faces in the media, at the stage on Saturday.

"On January 26, there was a plan to create disturbance during the tractor parade by opening fire on Delhi Police personnel, which would prompt them to retaliate against the protesting farmers in a strong manner," he said.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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