Farmers Allege Shooters Sent To Kill, Disrupt R-Day Rally

JAN 23: Farmers agitating at the Singhu border on Friday night alleged a mastermind plan to cause violence at their protest site or during their upcoming tractor rally on Republic Day. Union leaders said quoting the man they had detained for “moving suspiciously among them”.

The farmers presented the man detained by them, who said that he and “dozens of other men and women” were trying to bring weapons into the site to kill several people. The man, whose face was covered, did not name at whose direction he was working but said his handlers had told the group “that the protesters were bad people, fighting for the wrong cause and are our enemies”.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said: “It is a matter of probe who was being benefitted by disrupting our movement. Everyone knows ours is a peaceful protest. He (the masked man) says he works for money. We need to know who is funding him”. The press conference was soon interrupted with some men apparently in police uniform taking the masked man away.

There is, however, no official verification of the matter, the identity of the man detained, the police-personnel who took him away or the allegations made by the unions.

These allegations come on a day when the talks between the farmer unions and Centre once again reached an impasse. Farmers are adamant they would go ahead with their January 26 tractor rally inside the national capital – a demonstration that the government is trying to thwart.

Earlier, the Delhi Police proposed a different route map to the union where the tractor march could take place on January 26. Police officers did not share details of the proposed route but the farmers had been told to take out the rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway on the periphery of the capital.

Farmers had planned the rally on the Outer Ring Road, but the administration denied those permits. Police officers have maintained that no official permission has yet been given to the protesters for the rally since it could create a law and order problem on the Republic Day and trigger traffic chaos.

Union leaders have assured the police that the march would be entirely peaceful and that the protesters will not try to reach other areas in the city.

Meanwhile, Police sources said they are waiting for the farmer’s response and, “the future course of action would be decided accordingly.”

The farmer groups confirmed they had received another proposal from the police but said they would respond only after holding a meeting on Saturday.