In the first episode of Mann Ki Baat in 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the Red Fort incident of January 26 and said that the nation was shocked to witness the insult of Tricolour. The visuals of so-called farmers standing and raising slogans next to the flag post were projected on Doordarshan when PM Modi talked about the incident.
PM Modi further said that we have to fill the coming days with hope and novelty. “We need to work hard to fulfil our resolutions. We have to take our nation forward with fast speed, “he added.
President on Red Fort incident
On January 29, the President of India had also criticized the incident during his address to both houses.
The recent acts of dishonouring the National Flag and showing disrespect to the auspicious occasion of the Republic Day are unfortunate. While the Constitution gives us the right to freedom of expression it is also expected that we abide by the laws and rules with equal sincerity— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 29, 2021
He said, “The recent acts of dishonouring the National Flag and showing disrespect to the auspicious occasion of the Republic Day are unfortunate. While the Constitution gives us the right to freedom of expression it is also expected that we abide by the laws and rules with equal sincerity.”
The January 26 Red Fort riots
On January 26, while the Republic Day parade was going on at Rajpath, the protestors started their tractor rally before the time allowed by Delhi Police. Agitators broke the barricades and damaged police vehicles and busses to enter in Delhi. They took the routes that were not permitted by the Delhi Police. When the police tried to stop them, they got violent and started attacking police personnel.
There are videos where protestors can be seen trying to mow down the police officers. Some protestors had batons, swords and even guns that they used to attack the police officers. The tractors were allegedly modified to breakdown the barricades. Amidst provocative speeches by the farmer leaders, the protestors reached Red Fort.
At the Red Fort, the so-called farmers became hooligans and broke down the gates. They entered the premises in large numbers and destroyed the equipment, windows and furniture. They urinated on the premises and raised provocative slogans against the government and PM Modi.
Amidst all the violence at Red Fort, the so-called protestors hoisted a flag, purported to be the Nishan Sahib, on the flag post where Prime Minister hoists National Flag on August 15. They also hoisted the same flag next to the National Flag and on the dome of Red Fort. The incident of raising the flag on Red Fort was in lines with what banned terrorist organization Sikhs For Justice had demanded and promised a cash prize too.
Cases against rioters and journalists
Delhi Police has registered several cases against the rioters including actor Deep Sidhu who was present at Red Fort. Farmer leaders including Yogendra Yadav, Rakesh Tikait and Darshan Pal are booked for provoking farmers. Some journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai, are also facing legal action for spreading fake news during the riots.