‘Long Haul’: Farmer unions disassociate from R’Day violence; to continue protests

“This protest is for the long haul. We will keep at it until the three farm laws are repealed,” the farmer unions reiterated.

New Delhi: A day after violence and chaos ensued as a part of farmer’s tractor rally on Republic Day, farmer leaders belonging to different unions on Wednesday condemned the violence that broke out in several places—including Red Fort and ITO.

“We have no connection with those who spread violence amid peaceful protests. Elements like Deep Sindhu and other have maligned our movement,” say farm union leaders as they gather on stage to address protesters at Singhu border. “Those who unfurled the flag at Red Fort yesterday and created ruckus were not Sardar, but ‘Gaddar’ (traitor),” they added.

On Tuesday, a section of protesters stormed the Red Fort and a small group managed to climb to the ramparts of the fort and unfurled Nishan Sahib Flag, the religious flag of Sikhs there. “Nobody disrespected national flag. They installed Nishan Sahib there. It is same Nishan Sahib which was hailed by Rajnath Singh during his visit to China border,” said leaders of Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee.

KMSC general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said: “Someone instigated protesters to move towards Red Fort. It was not our call. IT cell is working. Don’t believe rumours, because everything is peaceful here.”

“Those who indulged in violence and unfurled flags at Red Fort will have to pay for their deeds. For the last two months, a conspiracy is going on against a particular community. This is not a movement of Sikhs, but farmers,” Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Rakesh Tikait was quoted as saying by ANI on Wednesday. Tikait also slammed Punjabi actor and activist Deep Sidhu for his alleged role, saying he is a “worker of BJP”. “This is a movement of farmers and will remain so,” he added.

“This protest is for the long haul. We will keep at it until the three farm laws are repealed,” the farmer unions reiterated.

Chaos and violence erupted in several parts of Delhi as the protesting farmers’ tractor rally for deviated from its planned route. The mob turned violent, broke barricades, clashed with police and stormed the Red Fort. The police responded with tear gases and lathi charge.

More than 300 policemen were injured, according to the Delhi Police. A protesting farmer died near the ITO metro station after his tractor toppled. At least 200 people were detained so far.

With agency inputs

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