Tractor rally: Farmers enter Red Fort, one person dead
In scenes unseen in India's modern history before, hundreds of protesting farmers entered the iconic Red Fort on Tuesday and hoisted flags. The farmers were supposed to stick to the route designed by the Delhi Police for their tractor march but they sparked violence instead. They broke barricades, clashed with cops, and vandalized public property on the 72nd Republic Day of the nation.
Background: Why did hundreds of farmers arrive in Delhi?
Farmers, who have been protesting at Delhi's borders for almost two months now, planned a tractor march on R-Day to express disappointment toward the three farm laws, passed in mid-September After much deliberations, the Delhi Police gave permission to them while underlining that they can't disrupt the R-Day parade and can only start their rally after the auspicious event ends.
Farmers entered Delhi by knocking down barricades
Despite an agreement between farmers and police, the former entered Delhi way before time, after breaking barricades at several border points earlier in the day. In horrific visuals, some farmers were seen carrying swords and others were seen getting on top of police vehicles. A bus of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was also vandalized in the ITO area.
One person, part of the farmers' protest, was killed
As per multiple reports, the tractors drove with speed in the ITO area, forcing cops and media personnel to run for cover. The violent protests in ITO took a dreadful turn when a person, reportedly part of the tractor parade, died. Farmers claimed that he was shot. Groups of farmers also stormed into Red Fort; over 20 tractors drove into the iconic Mughal monument.
Flags installed in Red Fort by protesting farmers
Once inside the monument, farmers waved flags and shouted slogans. Two flags — none of them the tricolor — were installed on one pole. About the incident that shamed the nation on R-Day, Manjit Singh Rai, the President of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Doaba) said, "The ones who have reached Red Fort are also farmers. We appeal to them to maintain peace."
The visuals can be seen here
Delhi Police urged farmers to maintain peace
As unpleasant scenes dominated the national capital, Delhi Police urged farmers to maintain peace. "We request to the protesting farmers to not take law in their hands and maintain peace," said Additional PRO Anil Mittal. Separately, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been supporting the agitation since the beginning, tweeted that violence is never the answer. He again asked Centre to repeal the laws.
'Abolish the laws'
हिंसा किसी समस्या का हल नहीं है। चोट किसी को भी लगे, नुक़सान हमारे देश का ही होगा।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 26, 2021
देशहित के लिए कृषि-विरोधी क़ानून वापस लो!