Conspiracy hatched in September: Delhi Police in R-Day violence FIR
A conspiracy to storm Delhi was hatched in September after the central government passed new agricultural laws, the Delhi Police has said in one of the 33 FIRs lodged in connection with the Republic Day violence earlier this week. On Tuesday, a farmers' tractor rally in protest against the laws had turned violent as the protesters deviated from the agreed-upon plan.
The FIR names over 30 people, including Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav and social activist Medha Patkar, for misleading farmers and instigating violence during the tractor rally. According to The Print, the FIR has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) covering rioting, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, assaulting and obstructing public servant, attempt to murder, dacoity and robbery.
The FIR reportedly stated that the protesters and their leaders had a "pre-planned" objective to not follow the four routes designated for the rally. It said the timing of the "so-called parade" was meant to disrupt the Republic Day parade. The leaders "claiming to sympathize with the cause" of farmers "continuously kept provoking farmers," the FIR reportedly stated.
A senior police officer told The Print that the FIR mentioned events starting November 26, 2020—when farmers protesting against the laws had moved toward Delhi from other states—to establish the "chronology that eventually led to the incident" on Republic Day.
According to the FIR, after the laws were passed in September, "some people" labeled them as "corporate-friendly and anti-farmer," triggering protests. Some parties joined the protests and "canards were spread that the farmers will lose their land to the corporates and the APMC-run mandis will cease to exist." The government tried to dispel the rumors, but the protests started, it mentioned.
Thereafter, protesting farmers from other states proceeded to Delhi, breaking past police barricades atop tractors and trolleys in late-November, the FIR said. They eventually camped at Delhi's borders, following which, "several people claiming to sympathize with the cause of farmers continuously kept provoking farmers," it said. Eleven rounds of talks between protesting farmers and the government to negotiate a resolution also failed.
Farmer leaders like Yadav then announced that they will stage a tractor rally on Republic Day, the FIR said. They "threatened to break" police barricades and proceed with the parade, it said. Four routes were proposed for the parade and an undertaking was also taken from the protesters. The tractor rally kicked off at 8 am at Singhu border, violating the agreement, it added.
The FIR said the protesters—"riding tractors, trolleys and even horses," armed with sticks, iron rods, "some of them also carrying swords"—broke barricades and injured cops. Some of them robbed police personnel of firearms and started rioting, injuring cops with swords and lathis, it said. They even ran their tractors over police officials with the intent to kill, it added.
The FIR said the protesters disregarded announcements to move toward the agreed route, "obstructing police officials in the discharge of their official duties." It added, "Water cannon was used to disperse the protesters, teargas shells were fired. The mob started throwing back the teargas shells towards the deployed police force. Gradually, the crowd of the protesters swelled and outnumber the force. (sic)"