Farmers’ umbrella group alleges conspiracy by government and Kisan Mazdoor Shangharsh Committee
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) January 27, 2021 accused the government of hatching a conspiracy with the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) and other anti-social elements for the violence and chaos that happened during the tractor rally January 26. It also said it would continue its protest against the three contentious farm laws peacefully.
Farmer leaders alleged at a press conference that the police had deliberately put barricades on the pre-determined routes at several points and were themselves allowing the protesters to go on the Ring Road to sabotage the otherwise peaceful tractor rally.
“The KMSC had declared five days ago that they will march towards the Red Fort. Why didn’t the police stop them? Everybody has seen photos of Deep Sidhu with both Modi (Narendra Modi) and Amit Shah. He is their agent. These people are in cahoots with the police and the government. The government itself sent people to the Red Fort. How is it possible that there was no police officer at the police station near Red Fort on Republic Day for four hours? They let the protestors enter the Red Fort and also showed them the way,” senior farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said.
SKM leaders, however, said they were taking responsibility for the events that happened January 26 since the call for the tractor rally was given by them. They also announced they were re-scheduling their foot march to Parliament February 1.
“I apologise to the nation on behalf of the Kisan Morcha. We condemn the actions by Deep Sidhu, KMSC and others. We asked everyone to return after violence happened,” Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav said.
He added that the KMSC had been given special treatment by the Delhi police on other occasions which implied that these elements “were planted by the government”.
“Red Fort is a place guarded by not just police but other security forces too. How is it possible that protestors went inside,” he said.
Gurnam Singh Chaduni, leader of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Haryana faction alleged that during the SKM’s last meeting with the government, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar had hinted about what could transpire on Republic Day. “While concluding the meeting, he said you also prepare for January 26, we will also prepare. We didn’t understand the government’s conspiracy then.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Police, in a parallel press conference, said farmer leaders themselves had indulged in violence and that it would take the strictest action possible against all rioters.
Farmer leaders responded saying that the government was trying to break the protest and that they were ready to go to jail.
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said the police kept standing while rioters took over the Red Fort. “Police should have fired shots when somebody was desecrating the tricolour,” he said.
During the day, two farmer unions — Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) — distanced themselves from the ongoing farmer protesters at the Delhi border in view of the violence. The protestors reportedly packed their tents and were leaving the border areas.
However, farmer leaders of SKM alleged that the two organisations had taken a stand different from the SKM on different issues from the start.
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