Coming out in support of a man who had attacked Alipur SHO Pradeep Paliwal with a sword at Delhi's Singhu border, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the protestor might have attacked the SHO in self-defence. Speaking further, Saurabh Bhardwaj said, "As far as I know, the farmers were surrounded and unarmed farmers were beaten. Stating that the entire video should be watched, he opined that he may have attacked Paliwal in "self-defence".
"I cannot accept the police version because they are the official version of the government," Bhardwaj added. This statement by the AAP leader comers after Delhi Police on Friday had arrested 44 people, including the man who had attacked Alipur SHO with a sword.
Cracking down on the attack at SHO Pradeep Paliwal at Delhi's Singhu border, Delhi police has arrested 44 people on Friday, including the man who rushed at Paliwal with a sword. Farmers had clashed with protestors claiming to be locals with both resorting to stone-pelting, leading to the police resort to tear gas and lathi charge. Farmers under the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, continue to protest at Delhi's borders - Tikri, Singhu, and Ghazipur, often clashing with police and local protestors on their 64th consecutive day, against the farm laws.
Earlier in the day, Police fired tear gas and resorted to baton charge to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites against farm laws. Delhi Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal was injured in the violence after a man attacked him with a sword, an official said, detaining him immediately. The group claiming to be locals demanded that the farmers vacate the Singhu border, alleging that they had "insulted" the national flag during their tractor parade on Republic Day.
Armed with sticks, the group of locals reached the site and asked the farmers to leave while raising slogans against them. While protesters at the Singhu border came out in numbers to resist the locals, they were promptly stopped by farmer union volunteers which helped the situation from turning ugly. Both sides also pelted stones at each other. Farm unions have alleged that these were not 'locals, but hired goons'.
Despite Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM)'s assurance and Delhi Police's conditions for the Republic Day tractor march, violence broke out on January 26, as the farmers entered Delhi - breaking barricades and cemented barriers, riding bikes brandishing swords, sticks and vandalising a bus, drove tractors at full speed towards the police - leading to clashes with Delhi police. As teargas shells, lathicharge was used, police claimed that over 300 personnel were injured and one protestor died after a tractor upturned. The most shocking act was when a group of farmers allegedly led by actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu breached the Red Fort and hoisted the 'Nishan Sahib' and the Kisan Union flag atop the Red Fort's dome and the Khalsa flag on the flag pole. The Delhi police has filed over 25 cases, several FIRs and arrested 19 people.