The Delhi Police has cited a ‘rise‘ in tractor sales in Punjab and Haryana between November 2020 and January 2021 to prove that the January 26 Red Fort violence by the alleged farmers was a “well-orchestrated conspiracy”. The police made this argument in the charge sheet filed in the Delhi Republic Day violence case.
As per the charge sheet, filed in May this year, “(the) sale of tractors rises to a considerable extent rapidly in a well-orchestrated conspiracy and with the sole object…to take tractors to Delhi for agitation and protest.”
The same can be substantiated by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) data that shows a 35 per cent year-on-year rise in tractor registrations in December 2020.
Sales of tractors increase in Punjab and Haryana
The Delhi Police in its charge sheet further stated that the state of Punjab witnessed the highest increase in the sale of tractors in those three months. As many as 1,535 tractors were sold in December 2020 as compared to 790 tractors in December 2019, indicating a rise of 94.30 per cent.
The month of January this year also saw increased sales with 2,840 tractors being sold as compared to 1,534 in January 2020.
Thousands of tractors were purchased in Haryana from November 2020 to January 2021.
November 2020 saw 31.81 per cent increase in sales with 3,174 sold as compared to 2,408 tractors in the same month in 2019. December 2020 saw 50.32 per cent spike in sales with 2,312 sold as compared to 1,538 in December 2019. January 2021 saw 48 per cent increase with 3,900 sold as compared to 2,635 in January 2020 as per the charge sheet.
Videos encouraging modifications of tractors
The Delhi Police in its charge sheet has attached several videos of alleged farmers encouraging the protestors to equip their tractors with heavy metal accessories to easily break through the barricades.
In some of the clips, the so-called farmer leaders can be heard saying, “the tractor rally will not follow the agreed route (and) if they are stopped by the police, they will breach the barricade and enter Delhi at any cost.”
ThePrint whitewashes rise in sale of tractors
Interestingly, left-leaning media ThePrint in its December report had attributed the rise in sales of tractors to ‘good monsoon, better finance availability and, even, lesser expenditure on weddings.’
Interestingly, they also mentioned that according to the states’ transport department data registrations of tractors in both Punjab and Haryana went down in the later months of 2020 as compared to 2019.
However, the data cited by the Delhi Police in its charge sheet indicates a rise in sales.
5000 tractors were permitted to participate in the rally
The Delhi Police in January 2021 had given permission to 5000 tractors to participate in the rally on the condition of abiding by the mapped routes.
Both sides had agreed on 36 points regarding the route, the number of people allowed and other law and order conditions. However, what followed after that is regarded as one of the darkest days in India’s democracy.