Day after R-day violence, two unions part ways from farmers’ protest

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | January 27, 2021 5:20:20 pm

Farm laws 2020, Agri laws 2020, Farm bills 2020, Farmers Protests, IMF, Geeta Gopinath, India news, Indian ExpressFarmers gathered at New Delhi's Singhu border. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

A day after violence hit the national capital during farmers’ tractor rally, two farm unions–the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu)– on Wednesday announced their withdrawal from the farmers’ protest.

“We have not come here for people to be martyred or to get them beaten up. We can’t support taking forward the movement with people who want to take it in another direction,” VM Singh of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan said.

Singh, however, said that protest against farm laws will continue until a guarantee of MSP gets ensured by Centre. He also blamed farm leader Rakesh Tikait for pressuring farmers to take a different route than the one designated for the tractor rally on Republic Day.

BKU (Bhanu) president Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh also announced his withdrawal from the protest. “I am deeply pained by whatever happened in Delhi yesterday and ending our 58-day protest,” he said.

I am deeply pained by whatever happened in Delhi yesterday and ending our 58-day protest: Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh, president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) at Chilla border

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 27, 2021

The development comes hours after the Delhi Police filed 22 FIRs naming at least 10 farm leaders, including Yogendra Yadav and Rakesh Tikait. The FIRs have been filed across 10 districts under IPC sections of rioting, criminal conspiracy, robbery, attempt to murder and others.

Police also said more than 300 police personnel were injured, most of them during clashes at ITO and Red Fort. “We are making arrests after conducting proper verification. We are also looking into CCTVs near Red Fort, ITO, Nangloi and other areas where the violence erupted,” the police said.

Security was also beefed in several parts of the national capital on Wednesday, with paramilitary forces stationed in several places like Red Fort, central Delhi and the three farm protest sites.

After two months of peaceful protests on Delhi’s borders and 11 rounds of negotiations with the central government, the farmers’ protest took a violent turn with their Republic Day tractor parade spiralling into chaos Tuesday. One protester died when his tractor overturned while ramming a road barrier at ITO, and scores were injured, as mobs resorted to violence and vandalism while forcing their way to the Red Fort and hoisting their flag there.

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