Farmers nab man trained to disrupt tractor-rally, kill protest leaders
The farmers protesting at the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana claimed to have nabbed a person who was trained to disrupt their proposed tractor rally on Republic Day (January 26). The captured man, allegedly part of a 10-member team, reportedly claimed there was also a plan to kill four farm leaders. He has now been handed over to the Haryana Police. Here's more.
According to the protesting farmers, the man, caught late on Friday, was allegedly part of a conspiracy hatched to break their ongoing agitation against the new farm laws. Also, farmers said they have decided to proceed with the tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day. Meanwhile, the 11th round of talks between farmers and the Centre also ended in a deadlock on January 22.
"Our plan was that on January 26...from the first line, a gun will be fired when the Delhi Police tries to stop (the tractor rally)," said the captured man, who had his face covered, at a press conference on Friday night. "The orders are to first try and stop them (farmers). If they don't stop, the orders are to fire at them," he added.
The unnamed man alleged he was trained by a police officer and claimed there was a plan to assassinate four farm leaders on January 24. "On 24th, the plan is to shoot four people on stage. We were trained by Pradeep Singh...he is police SHO (station house officer) of Rai. Whenever he came to meet us, he would be wearing a mask," he alleged.
However, the Rai Police station's SHO is reportedly Vivek Malik and not Pradeep Singh, as claimed by the captured person. In fact, no police officer with that name is posted at that station. Malik said while watching the farmers' press conference on Friday night, he was surprised by the claims made by the masked man, who is now being questioned by the Sonipat Police.
During the press conference, the captured person also claimed there were nine others in his team, including two women, who were supposed to create chaos at the tractor rally. Meanwhile, a farmer leader said, "The (captured) youth has identified photos of the four farmer leaders who were to be targeted by them...The operation was to be executed any time after January 23."
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, among other states, have been protesting at different borders of Delhi since November 26 last year. They have been demanding the repeal of the three contentious farm laws passed by the Parliament back in September.
The three farm laws that the farmers are opposing include the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Their main demands include repealing these laws and ensuring that minimum support price (MSP) for their crops is legally guaranteed, among others.