The national capital was rocked with violent protests after thousands of protesting farmers poured into Delhi from various points as the nation celebrated its 72nd Republic Day on January 26. Clashes broke out between police and the protestors. After two months of peaceful agitation, the protests took a violent turn and resulted in over 22 FIRs registered against those involved in the vandalism, at least 300 police personnel suffering injuries and the death of one protester.
Several dramatic visuals of protesters attacking police personnel, vandalising public transport, breaking barricades and the police using tear gas and lathi charging protesters went viral on social media.
BKU Alleges 'Attempt To Confuse Farmers'
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has blamed the Delhi Police and local administration for the violence during the tractor march taken out by protesting farmers on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Union said that the farmers were following the route that had been agreed for the tractor march, but the route was not earmarked with barricades to "confuse and mislead" the farmers.
"We wholeheartedly thank all those who participated in the tractor march today on the occasion of the Republic Day. The BKU strongly condemns the unpleasant incidents (violence) fuelled by some undesirable elements. We also express regrets at what happened today," BKU said in a statement. It also mentioned that it holds the Delhi Police and the local administration responsible for the violence.
"The farmers' tractor march started on the route that had been given by the Delhi Police. But attempts were made to confuse the farmers' march as some of the earmarked spots were not barricaded," the Union alleged.
"This resulted in farmers getting deviated from the route and they instead move towards Delhi," the statement mentioned.
"As a result, some undesirable elements and outfits got a chance and they tried to vitiate the farmers' tractor march," BKU alleged.
"The BKU is not involved in any form of violent activity. We appeal to all to stay away from such elements," it said.
Role Of Actor Deep Sidhu Under Scanner
Several farmer unions have blamed actor Deep Sidhu and gangster-turned-activist Lakha Sidhana for rampaging around Red Fort. Some alleged that Sidhu is a "Bharatiya Janta Party worker and not a Sikh."
Alleging infiltration of 'anti-social elements' in the protests, SS Pandher of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee said that some protestors had joined the protest to defame the farmers' movement. "We did not plan to unfurl the flags at Red Fort, this was not our programme," he said.
"Deep Sidhu's photo with the PM has floated, we had already expressed doubt over him," he added.
Another KMSC leader, Satnam Singh Pannu, accused the BJP of organising the violence at the iconic Red Fort to tarnish the protests.
"Whatever happened at Red Fort is because of Deep Sidhu," Pannu said. "Why didn't the police stop him at Red Fort? He is close to the ruling party."