Investigating the violence that ensued after the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day and the vandalism at the Red Fort, Delhi Police on Saturday made three more arrests in connection with the violence. So far, the Delhi police have arrested over 120 people and registered 44 FIRs in connection with the Republic Day violence in which more than 500 police personnel were seriously injured.
To find a breakthrough amid the deadlock between the Centre and the agitating farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 30 urged the Opposition parties to hold talks with the protesting farmers over the three Farm Laws, reiterating the Centre's offer to stay the reforms for 1.5 years. As per sources, addressing an all-party meeting, PM Modi stated that while the Centre and the Farm unions had not gotten to a consensus, the government was just a 'phone call away'.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait had welcomed this statement by the PM and had requested the Centre to normalise the situation at Singhu border, however in a change of tone the next day, the BKU spokesperson said he will hold talks only if the Government released those of his people who had been arrested in connection with the violence that took place on Republic Day.
"There will not be any agreement under pressure. We will hold discussions on the farm laws' issue only after our people are released from the jail," he said.
The farmers observed a "Chakka Jam" on Saturday to protest against the farm laws and the internet disruption by the authorities in protest areas in order to maintain law and order after the Republic Day violence. Delhi police had also fortified borders of the national capital in the anticipation of the possibility of incidents of violence in the national capital.
The Republic Day this year was marred with chaos and mayhem after the tractor rally of the farmers which turned violent with incidents of vandalism, rioting and assault on Policemen. The violent mob also breached the Red Fort, damaged several areas of the Fort and also planted a saffron flag and a yellow flag bearing the holy Sikh symbol atop the dome of the Fort, while another violent protestor planted the flag on a podium in Red Fort. Farmers were seen riding bikes brandishing swords, sticks and vandalised a bus, drove tractors at full speed towards the police personnel who were blocking them.
If that wasn't enough, clashes again broke out between the protesting farmers and the local villagers on the Singhu border who had come appeal to the farmers on January 29 to vacate the protest area. The two sides pelted stones and attacked each other with sticks, leading to a further escalation in violence. The Delhi Police had to intervene which was met with stone-pelting. Thereafter, to control the escalating situation, the police was forced to lathi-charge the aggressive mob and fire tear gas shells. Several cops including SHO of Alipur had suffered injuries in the clash at the Singhu Border.