120 Arrested Over Tractor Rally Violence, Including A Punjab Farmer, 80
Delhi Police have released the names and details of 120 people arrested in connection with 13 FIRs (first information reports) filed after violent clashes between farmers and police during the tractor rally held in the national capital on Republic Day.
The list includes 15 individuals below the age of 20, six below 19 and two below 18. It also includes Jeet Singh, 70, and Gurmukh Singh, 80, from Punjabs’ Sangroor and Fategarh districts respectively.
The list comes as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he would set up a helpline to trace people – from his state and neighbouring Haryana – reportedly missing since that day.
“Our hearts are with those fighting for their rights at the Delhi borders… will do everything possible to locate those who are missing. We are trying to get details and will ensure that they return to their homes,” Mr Singh said at a public event.
The Chief Minister’s action followed Sunday’s statement by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha – the organisation representing around 40 farmer unions – which said that over 100 people were missing.
The police have also arrested a journalist – freelancer Mandeep Punia – and filed cases against other journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai, and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for posts on the death of a farmer at the ITO junction in central Delhi.
Last week the police sent notices to 20 farmer leaders, and Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, asking why legal action should not be taken against them. They were also asked to surrender their passports.
The notices were issued claiming that those named in them did adhere to conditions laid down by the police while giving farmers permission to hold the rally on Republic Day.
The farmers hit back, saying they would not be intimidated by the police action.
These conditions included sticking to pre-agreed routes and only entering the city after the parade on Rajpath was completed. However, by 8 that morning, hundreds of tractors and thousands of farmers and other protesters had gathered and forced their way past barricades and into the city.
Once inside, they failed to stick to the agreed routes, with one group breaking off and storming into the iconic Red Fort complex, where a Sikh religious flag was raised.
As clashes broke out, the police had to fire tear gas shells and use batons to break up the protests.
Hundreds of police personnel were injured, the government has said.
This evening the police also announced compensation for those injured in the violence; those “grievously injured” will get Rs 25,000 and those with “other serious injuries” will get Rs 10,000.