Farmers' tractor rally violence: 10 things to know

The scene that unfolded on January 26 was filled with chaos and violence
Last Updated 27 January 2021, 05:46 IST

Agitating farmers had planned to take out a tractor parade on the Republic Day, a symbolic occasion to voice their grievances against three contentious farm laws. However, the scene that unfolded on January 26 was filled with chaos and violence, with sights of protestors breaking barricades and clashing with the police. As the dust around the incident settles, let us take a look at the ten things to know about the eventful tractor rally.

1. The rally was permitted to begin from 12 noon after the conclusion of the Republic Day parade at Rajpath. However, around 8:00 am, thousands of agitating farmers broke barriers at the Singhu and Tikri borders and began marching towards Delhi, clashing with the security forces.

2. Delhi Police used tear gas to disperse the protesting farmers at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and Mukarba Chowk as groups of farmers tried to break barricades and cemented barriers with tractors.

3. As the farmers entered Delhi chanting 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan', locals stood on both sides of the roads at various locations and showered flower petals on the farmers amid drum beats. Standing atop vehicles decked up with flags, the protesters danced to the tunes of patriotic songs like 'Aisa Desh Hai Mera' and 'Sare Jahan Se Achcha'.

4. The violence gradually escalated after farmers and police clashed in Delhi's ITO area. Injuries were reported as police lathi-charged farmers as some tractors taking part in the rally reportedly tried to deviate from the scheduled route. The rally was scheduled to head towards Apsara Border but some tractors pushed through a police barricade at Chintamani Chowk.

5. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation closed the entry and exit gates of at least 20 metro stations. Indian Railways' trains were also stopped as a precautionary measure for over two hours at the Tilak Bridge railway station.

6. A protesting farmer died after his tractor overturned at Central Delhi's ITO during the farmers’ tractor parade. The farmers draped his body in the tricolour and kept it at the ITO crossing, not allowing the police to send it for post-mortem.

7. The Home Ministry temporarily suspended internet services in Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and the adjoining areas in the NCT of Delhi from 12:00 hours to 23:59 hours on Tuesday, invoking the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Sevices (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 in the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency in areas closer to farmers protest sites.

8. The chaos reached a crescendo when some protesters, including 'Nihangs' (traditional Sikh warriors), forced their way into the Red Fort and hoisted a flag with the police resorting to lathi-charging the protestors to vacate the Red Fort premises.

9. The overall tally of injured police personnel has crossed 100. Several police personnel fell or jumped down a wall after being pushed to the edge by a marauding mob near the Red Fort. 22 FIRs have been filed so far in connection with the violence that broke out.

10. As the nation watched the violence unfold, many political parties struggled to come out with a proper response. However, they distanced themselves from the "violence" in the agitation.

(Published 27 January 2021, 03:43 IST)

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