As ‘protesting farmers’ turned to rioting mob to unleash violence on Republic Day, the farmer bodies have come out to defend them and ‘distanced’ themselves from the rioting mob. From blaming the violence on ‘unruly mob’ to ‘uneducated people’, ‘farmer leaders’ have been washing their hands off the terror unleashed on the national capital on a day India celebrated the Republic.
However, ahead of the Republic Day violence, these very farmer leaders who are pinning blame on others and claiming they had nothing to do with violence during the ‘peaceful protest’, were seen implicitly instigating the ‘protestors’ to be prepared for violence.
Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Rakesh Tiktait
Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s National Spokesperson claimed that the rally was peaceful, and some uneducated farmers ‘accidentally’ went on the wrong route and reached Red Fort. Tikait completely denied any violence during Tractor Rally and claimed he has nothing to do with it. According to him, it was the central government and Delhi Police that planned and executed the violence.
However, some videos tell a different tale. In an undated video, Tikait provoked the farmers to bring their own flags with sticks, which they will hoist on the Republic Day. Towards the end, he again made a provocative claim that the Agriculture laws will take away farmers’ land, which is nothing but falsehood.
In another video, Tikait said that the Republic Day Parade would move from Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate, and Tractor Rally will move from Red Fort to India Gate. He further added that both parades would meet at India Gate.
Though they did not get permission to start the Tractor Rally before the Republic Day Parade ended, the Tractor Rally was forcefully begun almost at the same time when the Republic Day Parade was about to start. The claims Tikait made in the video have a striking resemblance to what had happened yesterday as protestors forcefully changed the route and barged into Red Fort to hoist the Nishan Sahib flag.
In another video, Tikait was heard threatening Delhi Police that if they try to stop tractors from entering Delhi, they will attack. He claimed that no one could stop tractors, and if anyone tries to do so, the person(s) will be dealt with violence.
Gurnam Singh Charuni
Bharatiya Kisan Union Chief Gurnam Singh Charuni, in a video byte before January 26, urged farmers to go on Republic Day with their tractors. He and other farmer leaders had just come out after meeting with Union Ministers.
He further added that their Tractor Rally would break down the barricades and enter the national capital. He said he does not care if the government use force and fire bullets on them but Republic Day will be the “final match” between government and protestors.
Yudhvir Singh, General Secretary Bharatiya Kisan Union, in a video byte from January 1, 2021, said that the youth farmers are ready for action, and if the government does not fulfil their demands, they will take the matter into their own hands.
In another video from January 8, while talking to CNBC, Singh said that they are preparing for January 26.
The 8th round of talks between the government & the protesting #farmers remains #inconclusive. @rituparnabhuyan reports and speaks to Yudhvir Singh of @BKU_KisanUnion, RS Deep Singhwala, VP, Kirti Kisan Union & Chaudhary Harpal Singh of BKU (Asli). #FarmBills #FarmerProtests pic.twitter.com/srEm8Y5K7X— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18News) January 8, 2021
He further added that they were starting a campaign to call at least one person from every home from every village with a tractor to participate in the tractor rally.
In a video from January 3, Yogendra Yadav, addressed a group of farmers and said that the tractors would enter Delhi on January 26 from six entry points.
#Verified— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) January 3, 2021
👉Battling rain & chilly winds, farmers listen to a crucial address by @_YogendraYadav
👉’26 January ke baad bethenge nahi, andar ghusenge’
👉’Farmers will ENTER Delhi on tractors from 6 borders on Jan 26′
👉He is leading #FarmersProtest at Rajasthan-Haryana border pic.twitter.com/SpHf304yHG
In another video from the same day, he was seen saying that farmers will hold tractor rallies in every region where Republic Day parades take place.
“We will march into Delhi on January 26 ( India’s Republic day ) if demands not met by then”.— Clarion India (@TheClarionIndia) January 2, 2021
7-member Coordination Committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha held a Press Conference in Delhi.@_YogendraYadav @_SwarajIndia #FarmersProtest #FarmersBill pic.twitter.com/5O8xsMQoGB
In a video from January 17, he again claimed that tractors would enter Delhi and emphasized doing rally alongside the Republic Day parade.
#Farmers will conduct a peaceful #KisanGantantraParade on January 26 in #Delhi: @_SwarajIndia National President @_YogendraYadav #FarmersProtests #FarmersAgitation #FarmLaws pic.twitter.com/zYLpiqZyez— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) January 17, 2021
Krantikari Kisan Union’s Darshan Pal has also claimed earlier that tractors will enter Delhi on January 26. Interestingly he stated that Delhi Police have agreed to the routes they asked permission for, but Delhi Police denied giving any such consent.
In a video from January 23, he was heard saying they will hold a tractor march on January 26, and 80% of the parade will be inside Delhi.
In another statement, he had already claimed that they would march on foot towards Parliament on February 1, the day on which the Budget session would be taking place.
Delhi Police has till now filed FIRs against ‘farmer leaders’ including Yogendra Yadav. Rakesh Tikait has also been booked by Delhi Police. As many as 22 FIRs have been registered by now. Over 200 rioters are detained under charges of rioting, damaging public property and attacking police personnel. The police stated that they are making arrests after due verifications.