Thursday, January 20, 2022

Delhi top cop names farm leaders — Pannu, Tikait, Darshan Pal — for violation of tractor parade terms

Strict legal action will be taken against those found guilty of involvement in the Republic Day violence in the capital and no one will be spared, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava said on Wednesday noting that the police was taking the Delhi violence  “very seriously” and “will not allow any compromise with national dignity”.

In a detailed press conference on the sequence of events that led to yesterday’s mayhem the top cop named farm leaders Satnam Singh Pannu, Rakesh Tikait and Darshan Pal for violating the agreement on the tractor parade and delivering provocative speeches inciting supporters to break barricades yesterday.

“The agreement was that the tractor rally will not start before 12 noon but farmers started marching from 6.30 am onwards. From Singhu border the farmers started coming to Mukarba Chowk at 7.30 am and refused to take the right turn as agreed upon earlier. Their leader Satnam Singh Pannu delivered provocative statements and once the speech ended he called upon everyone to break the barricades. Darshan Pal Singh sat at Mukarba Chowk refusing to turn right,” said Shrivastava, adding that no one will be spared if found guilty.

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He said so far 19 persons had been arrested, 50 detained and 25 plus criminalcases registered against the culprits. “CCTV footages are being analysed and face recognition systems used to identify the guilty. Investigations are underway,” the police commissioner said.

Shrivastava said the police had urged the farm leaders to lead the tractor parade and be present with each group to control them but “farmers from all the borders betrayed the agreement and broke barricades to enter the city”.

He said Delhi police’s decision to exercise restraint – as per the agreed upon terms with the farmers – ensured that not even one life was lost due to police action.

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Shrivastava accused farm leaders of handing over their stage on January 25 to militant elements who delivered provocative speeches making their intentions for January 26 clear.

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“We maintained extreme restraint because we wanted to facilitate a peaceful tractor parade as agreed on. The farmer leaders however did not honour any terms of the tractor parade,” Shrivastava said.

On the Red Fort events the top cop said several farmers unions hoisted their flags and religious flags which are now case property.

Among the terms agreed upon with farmer leaders in five meetings regarding the parade were – the parade will start at 12 noon and end to 5 pm; top leaders will lead; leaders will accompany every group; there will not be more than 5,000 tractors and no firearm or deadly weapon will be carried.

“The farm union leaders had signed an undertaking to honour these terms but they did not,” said Shrivastava.

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