Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday urged ‘genuine’ farmers protesting against the new farm reform laws to ‘vacate’ Delhi and return to the borders of the national capital after the tractor rally taken out by the agitators turned violent on Tuesday.
Describing the scenes witnessed in the city as ‘shocking’, Singh said the violence by some elements was unacceptable. “It’ll negate goodwill generated by peacefully protesting farmers. Kisan leaders have disassociated themselves & suspended #TractorRally (sic),” he tweeted.
Shocking scenes in Delhi. The violence by some elements is unacceptable. It'll negate goodwill generated by peacefully protesting farmers. Kisan leaders have disassociated themselves & suspended #TractorRally. I urge all genuine farmers to vacate Delhi & return to borders.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) January 26, 2021
The Chief Minister has also ordered a high alert in Punjab amid the tension and violence in Delhi, and directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure that law and order in the state is not disturbed at any cost. Expressing grave concern over the situation, the Chief Minister said the violence was apparently triggered by some people who violated the rules laid down for the Tractor March through mutual agreement between the Delhi Police and the farmer unions.
The CM’s appeal to “genuine” farmers mirrored the stance adopted by some farmer unions, who said some “antisocial elements” infiltrated their otherwise peaceful movement.
Farmers’ union body Samyukta Kisan Morcha condemned and regretted the “undesirable” and “unacceptable” events as the parade turned violent after several groups of farmers deviated from the pre-decided route for the march.
Farmers protesting against the laws had entered central Delhi, and protested at Red Fort, ITO and Kashmere Gate, among other places. In a bid to stop them, the Delhi Police resorted to lathi-charging and used tear gas to dispel the miscreants.
Some protestors forced their way into the Red Fort to hoist a flag, and were later made to vacate the premises. Farmers had earlier deviated from the designated route for the tractor rally and moved towards ITO in central Delhi.
The protesters also breached police barricades, attacked personnel and vandalised a bus at ITO. Meanwhile, one protester was killed near ITO after the tractor he was driving turned turtle, police said. A cop has also been injured at Red Fort.