BKU (Bhanu), Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan withdraw from farmers' protest
Two farmer unions on Wednesday announced their withdrawal from the months-long protest against the central government's new agricultural laws. The Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) announced their withdrawal from the protests a day after violence broke out during the farmers' Republic Day tractor rally. Some protesters had also breached the Red Fort and raised a Sikh flag.
RKMS National Convenor VM Singh announced the union's withdrawal from the protest during a press conference at the Ghazipur border on Wednesday. Singh, who was removed as the National Convenor of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee last month, clarified that the decision is of the RKMS and not of the AIKSCC. Singh said their agitation will continue, but "not like this."
"I cannot carry forward protest with someone whose direction is different," Singh was quoted as saying by ANI, "I wish them best but VM Singh and Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan are withdrawing from the protest." "I have nothing to do with the protest which is being led by them and over here being represented by Rakesh Tikait on their behalf," Singh added.
BKU (Bhanu) President Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh announced the union's withdrawal at the Chilla border. He was quoted as saying by ANI, "I am deeply pained by whatever happened in Delhi yesterday and ending our 58-day protest." Reportedly, some farmers were seen packing their tents after the BKU chief's call. Meanwhile, farmers at Ghazipur protested against VM Singh's announcement of a withdrawal, ANI reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, VM Singh had said, "We came for (Minimum Support Price), not hooliganism. Action must be taken against those who took a different route. It was shameful. We will have to see how to go ahead with those who want to break agitation."
On Tuesday, farmers protesting against the Centre's new agricultural laws launched a tractor rally as permitted by the Delhi Police. However, violence ensued as the protesters broke police barricades before the agreed time for the rally and also changed the agreed route. Later, some protesters breached the Red Fort and unfurled 'Nishan Sahib,' a triangular saffron flag bearing the 'khanda' symbol sacred to Sikhs.
According to the Delhi Police, 153 cops were injured in the violence, including two who were admitted to the ICU. One farmer, Navdeep Singh Hundal (26), died. His friends claimed he had been shot by the police. A post-mortem showed that Singh was not shot and died from antemortem injuries after his tractor turned turtle, said Avinash Chandra, ADG Bareilly in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
The Delhi Police has registered an FIR in connection with Tuesday's violence naming 37 farmer leaders including Medha Patkar, Buta Singh, and Yogendra Yadav. "The FIR states that acts like not following the mutually agreed route and timing of the farmers' rally to disrupt Republic Day parade were done," the police said in a statement.