March off, unions remorse Crimson Fort incident

Ravinder Saini and Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Tikri/Singhu, January 27

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday expressed regret over the “Red Fort incident” on Republic Day during the tractor parade. Announcing that it had put off the march to Parliament on February 1, the SKM said that farmers across the country would observe fast on the death anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on January 30.

“The incident at the Red Fort where some persons participating in the tractor parade unfurled the flag of a particular religion hurt the sentiments of the people of the nation. We regret the incident even though we had no role in it. But as we had given the call for the tractor parade, in which lakhs participated, we express regret for the shameful incident,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, one of the members on the seven-member SKM committee, after a marathon meeting at Singhu that lasted over five hours.

SN Srivastava

Breach of agreement: Delhi Police Chief

The unions didn’t follow conditions set for the rally that was supposed to be held from 12 noon to 5 pm with 5,000 tractors.

He and other members blamed the government for hatching a conspiracy to defame their peaceful protest. “We will expose the conspiracy by the government in coming days. We obeyed the route plan given to us by the police but encountered barricades. Members of the Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee stood ahead of these barricades to ‘sabotage’ our protest. Sangharsh Committee members and Deep Sidhu are responsible for what happened at the Red Fort,” Rajewal told the media.

Yogendra Yadav and Gurnam Singh Charuni said the protest would continue and more farmers would join in soon. The SKM, an umbrella body of agitating farmer unions, claimed several of their members were still missing. “FIRs have been registered against innocent farmers too. It was a conspiracy to weaken the brotherhood between the farmers of Haryana and Punjab,” the SKM leaders alleged. Rajewal questioned the working of the Delhi Police, asking: “How could the protesters enter the Red Fort which is a high-security area?” Most farmers, gathered at Singhu and Tikri for the tractor parade, returned on Wednesday. Pelted with stones on the Gharaunda flyover, a group of farmers chased the miscreants, parking their tractors on the highway, disrupting traffic.

Doors for dialogue still open: Javadekar

The Centre has sent out feelers to farmers saying doors for talks were still open. Minister Prakash Javadekar asked, “Who has ever said doors for talks are shut?”

Delhi violence a Govt conspiracy, says Opposition

The Congress-led Opposition has alleged the Delhi mayhem was a govt conspiracy to discredit the agitation and questioned how the protesters could reach Red Fort.

2 unions pull out of stir

BKU (Bhanu) and All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Comm-ittee have withdrawn from the stir.

Net ban extended in Haryana

Haryana has extended suspension of phone services, except voice calls, in Sonepat, Palwal and Jhajjar districts for 24 hours.

Deol’s former aide blamed for violence

New Delhi: Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol’s former aide, Deep Sidhu, who has been blamed for instigating protesters and leading them to the Red Fort, was summoned by the NIA in connection with a case against the Sikhs for Justice.

Sources, however, said that no fresh action had been initiated against him so far. The SFJ is accused of funding anti-India movement in the country and abroad. — TNS

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