New Delhi: A day after the violence during the tractor parade, the Delhi Police has named 37 farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav, and Medha Patkar, in an FIR, for rioting, criminal conspiracy, and attempt to murder among others.
The action against the peasant leaders came after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava alleged that many of them gave inflammatory speeches and were involved in the violence.
Police said the role of farmer leaders would be investigated in relation to the violence of 394 security personnel injured and the death of a protestor.
According to the FIR lodged at Samaypur Badli police station against unknown persons, the protesters robbed an official pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition along with two tear gas guns during the violence.
Farmer leaders nominated in the FIR include Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav, Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Chandani, Rakesh Tikait, Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Satnam Singh Pannu, Joginder Singh Ugra, Surjit Singh Phool, Jagjit Singh Dilwale, Balbir Singh Rajewal, and Harinder Singh. An official said that those found guilty will be given the harshest punishment.
The FIR mentions several IPC sections including 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 353 (assault to prevent a public servant from discharging his duty), and 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy). In an FIR, a Delhi Police constable claimed that some protesters tried to kill his tractor by barricading him.
A police officer claimed that the number plates of some tractors were hidden during his rally. Addressing a press conference, Srivastava claimed that the peasant unions did not follow the stipulated conditions for the rally, which was to be held from 12 noon to 5 pm with 5,000 tractors, and accused their leaders of betrayal.
He alleged that some farmer leaders like Satnam Singh Pannu and Darshan Pal gave inflammatory speeches. The protesters then broke the barricades. By the evening of 25 January, it became clear that they were not keeping their word. He brought forth the aggressive and militant elements, who took the stage and made inflammatory speeches.
Farmer leaders alleged that ‘anti-social’ elements instigated violence against the farm laws under ‘law’ to ‘torpedo’ their peaceful movement, and demanded an investigation.
According to the police, 394 police personnel were injured in the violence while 30 police vehicles and 428 barricades were damaged. DTC driver Praveen Kumar said that there were injuries in the riots and he was admitted to ESIC Model Hospital, Basaidarpur.
The FIR stated that the protesters and their leaders resorted to the incident with their pre-planned aim of not following the mutually agreed path and with the commencement of the so-called parade of protesters and disrupting the Republic Day parade. Their assembly was also in violation of COVID-19 guidelines.
Police used water canons and tear gas to disperse the protesters. However, the mob started throwing tear gas shells towards the police, the FIR said.