Farmers refused to call off Budget Day march to Parliament

Sreya Kanugula

The farmer unions weren’t deterred by the violent disputes that broke out at the Red Fort on 26th January 2021. They stated that they had no plans in delaying or letting the scheduled march to the Parliament on the day of the announcement of the budget slide.

The tractor rally held on Republic Day was done so to highlight the farmer unions’ demands to repeal all the 3 of the new agricultural legislation but dissolved into chaos at mid-day.

This happened after thousands of farmer protesters broke through a couple of barriers after fighting with the police, overturning some vehicles, after they claimed that they were tear-gassed first by the police at around 12:10 pm.

Around 22 FIRs had been registered by the Delhi Police with regards to the violence that broke out in front of Red Flag after two Sikh flags were hoisted next to the national flag at the Red Fort.

The Additional PRO of Delhi Police stated that apparently more than 100 of the personnel had been injured during the fights that broke out at the rally.

The Sayunkt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella union representing several farmer organisations, were the ones to propose the “Kisan Tractor Rally” be held on Republic Day. They were met formally with the police department of Delhi with regards to the rally.

An undertaking was also given by them to the police force on the proposed peaceful plans of protesting on 4 agreed-upon trails.

However, things didn’t go as planned. On the 26th, the police stated that there were 6000 to 7000 assembled tractors at the border of Singhu at around 8:30 in the morning.

But instead of proceeding as per the pre-determined routines, the reports of the police said that the farmers had insisted on going through Central Delhi and that they had ignored their repeated requests.

The farmers, the police force stated, furnished with their swords and kirpans and headed by Nihangs seated on horses, attacked the police first and had broken through a couple of barricaded layers that were set up in the middle of Mukarba Chowk and Transport Nagar.

Media reports show that there were injuries on both sides upon this clash since the farmers were tear-gassed heavily and quelled with batons by the police to decrease the crowd’s solidarity. Similar violent clashes between the police and the protestors broke out at the borders of Gazipur and Tikri as well. Some protestors indulged in vandalism too.

The given police statement claimed that the protestors had broken the gates at the Red Fort to enter the place’s wells.

Videos and pictures show prove that there was a section of them on top of the Red Fort’s rampart with three flags hoisted (two affiliated to the Sikh religion and the third being the national flag.)

However, the police managed to remove the crowd from the Fort within an hour or two.

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