Tractor rally violence: Rakesh Tikait, 6 other farmer leaders named in FIR

The police said they violated the Covid-19 guidelines by not wearing masks and ignored social distancing.

At least seven farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, VM Singh, Jagtar Singh Bajwa, Tejender Singh Virk and Rishipal Singh Ambawat, have been named in a first information report (FIR) registered at the Ghazipur police station on Wednesday in connection with Tuesday’s violence near the Ghazipur-border during the “Kisan Tractor Parade”.

The FIR has been registered under 11 different Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), two Sections of Prevention to Damage to Public Property Act, two sections of Disaster Management Act and Section 3 of Epidemic Disease Act. The charges in the FIR pertain to rioting with deadly weapons, attempt to murder, stopping public servant from performing their duties and criminal conspiracy apart from violations of Covid-19 guidelines. A sub-inspector (SI) of the Ghazipur police station, Sanjeev Kumar, is the complainant in the case.

According to Kumar’s complaint, farmers under the leadership of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Rakesh Tikait, Tejender Singh Virk, VM Singh, national organiser of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sangharsh Samnvaya Samiti, BKU’s Jagrat Singh Bajwa, Rishipal Singh Ambawat, Harpal Singh, Vinod Kumar, president of Jat Mahasabha, and other were protesting against the farm laws at the Ghazipur-Ghaziabad (UP Gate) border since November 26. To stop them from moving into Delhi, barricading was done at the Delhi border and Delhi Police personnel along with paramilitary forces staff remained deployed round-the-clock, he has said in the FIR.

“These people (leaders) along with their supporters were involved in pushing and shoving, sloganeering and forcibly entering Delhi. However, we maintained patience and controlled the situation by urging them to remain calm. Whenever Rakesh Tikait used to go for meetings with the government, the police staff of the Ghazipur police station escorted him,” the FIR says.

According to the FIR, the farmer unions declared that they will carry out a tractor rally on January 26 in Delhi if their demands were not fulfilled by the government. They had also asked their supporters in nearby states to reach Delhi and because of that the number of protesting farmers was increasing every day. The number of those involved in ruckus was more, the FIR said.

“Farmer unions were given conditional permission for their proposed tractor rally. The conditions included a specific number of tractors and farmers, routes to follow, timing and that they will not carry weapons and damage public property. The agreed timing was between 12 pm and 5 pm,” the sub-inspector has said in the FIR.

SI Kumar further says in the FIR that his duty was at Ghazipur chicken market from 6 am on January 26 and senior officers sent him and other police staff onto the flyover at 9 pm. The protesters in a well-thought out conspiracy began breaking the barricades on the road with their tractors from 9 am, much before the scheduled time, in order to enter Delhi. Some barricades were damaged, he said.

“The protesters on the tractors were carrying sticks, iron pipes and swords, and shouting slogans. Station House Officer (SHO), Ghazipur, through loudspeaker made announcements but the farmers ignored his directions and started moving ahead by breaking the barricades with their tractors. The deployed security personnel tried to stop them but the farmers with intent to kill us rammed the barricades and in the process some personnel suffered injuries. As per their conspiracy, the protesters had pasted papers on the registration numbers of their vehicles,” Kumar has said in the FIR.

“The protesting farmers on the directions of their leaders, and in a well-planned conspiracy deliberately defied the conditions of the tractor rally permission, and tried to kill me and other police staff by ramming the barricades with their tractors and entered Delhi with deadly weapons. A legal action should be taken against the hooligans and the farmer leaders. They also violated the Covid-19 guidelines by not wearing masks and not maintaining social distancing,” it further says in the complaint.

Source: Hindustan Times

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