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Govt Should Institute Inquiry to Probe Republic Day Tractor Parade Violence: BJD MP

Farmers hoist flags at the Red Fort during the 'tractor rally' in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

Farmers hoist flags at the Red Fort during the 'tractor rally' in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

Prasanna Acharya called for a probe to ascertain the truth about who was behind the violence, ”how thousands of people were allowed to enter the Red Fort.

Terming the violence during the farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day as ”unfortunate”, a Rajya Sabha MP on Wednesday called upon the government to institute an impartial inquiry into the incident, headed by a sitting Supreme Court Judge, if possible. Addressing the Upper House during the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address, Prasanna Acharya of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said while everybody has condemned the violence on January 26, ”putting the whole blame squarely on a few farmer organisations, or few farmer leaders is not going to solve the problem”.

He called for a probe to ascertain the truth about who was behind the violence, ”how thousands of people were allowed to enter the Red Fort. Who opened the gate of the Red Fort”. Acharya suggested an inquiry to determine the role of the police, the local administration, farmer leaders and organisations who were spearheading the agitation against the three agricultural legislations.

”My suggestion to government is that a proper, impartial inquiry should be instituted into the incident. Let it be headed by a sitting Supreme Court judge. Let us know the truth. Who was behind all these things,” Acharya said. Observing that ”we just can’t sit silent by putting the blame on certain people or certain leaders,” he termed the tractor parade violence as one of the most unfortunate incidents that took place after India’s Independence.

”My suggestion to the government, let the government institute a proper impartial inquiry, if possible, headed by a sitting Supreme Court judge,” Acharya said. The BJD has nine sitting members in the upper house.

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Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea seeking setting up of a committee headed by a former apex court judge to conduct a time-bound probe into the violence during tractor rally in Delhi on the Republic Day. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked lawyer Vishal Tiwari, who had filed the PIL, to give a representation to the central government for taking necessary action.

Acharya said that when the government is giving verbal assurance to farmers on continuation of the minimum support price (MSP) they should be mentioned in the farm laws as well. ”If the government is ready to give verbal assurance to the farmers why can’t the government put one line in the three big laws you have brought to this house. Three farm laws this house has passed. What is the problem I don’t understand sir,” Acharya said.

The BJD MP disputed the government’s claim of implementation of MS Swaminathan Commission recommendations. ”The government says they have implemented the Swaminathan committee report, we dispute it sir. The government is yet to implement Swaminathan commission recommendations in a true sense. My appeal to the government would be– you implement the Swaminathan commission so far MSP is concerned,” Acharya said.

He also urged the government to ponder over BJD’s proposal seeking inclusion of ’Ahimsa’ – Mahatma Gandhi’s theory of non violence – in the preamble of India’s Constitution, to make people realise that it is one of the principles. Expressing thanks to the President for his Address to both Houses of Parliament at the start of the ongoing Budget session, Acharya however, said, ”Though I have to admit, it was not a very inspirational speech. I don’t think the contents of the President’s speech inspired the crores and crores of people in this country.”

first published:February 04, 2021, 07:10 IST