As the farmers' tractor rally turned violent, CPI(M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya was spotted amongst the protestors on Tuesday morning. While the reason behind the Rajya Sabha MP's presence at borders of the national capital and his level of participation in the protests is not clear yet, Bhattacharya was seen amongst the protestors lending a voice of support as the farmers commenced their tractor rally which eventually turned violent. The tractor rally on Republic Day planned by the protesting farmers, which had been advised against by the Delhi Police, turned violent as the protestors broke barricades in an attempt to divert away from the original route decided for the rally.
As the protestors cemented barriers at Delhi’s Mukarba Chowk, the Delhi Police responded by shelling tear gas shells to control the situation. The situation quickly devolved to a point where the police were outnumbered, even as the farmers overran Delhi and a number of its monuments, capped off with the farmers breaching the Red Fort. The protesters were stopped from entering Delhi as the tractor rally began ahead of the time granted for it.
The Delhi Police had allowed the tractor rally to take place from noon to 5 PM. However, when the protesters forcefully tried to enter the capital, Delhi Police attempted to persuade the farmers to begin the rally as per plan - that is after the conclusion of Republic Day parade. As the protesters entered Delhi, visuals show that the protesters vandalised buses and heckled Police personnel. Near ITO, a bus was vandalised and the farmers diverted their route.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has condemned the use of tear gas shells and lathi charge against the protesting farmers, terming it as 'unacceptable'. Turning a blind eye to the vandalism caused by the farmers in the national capital on Tuesday morning, Yechury questioned the police's actions, citing the agreement between the Samyukt Kisan Morcha and the Delhi Police. The CPI(M) General Secretary also accused the government of provoking a 'confrontation' with the agitating farmers and called on the Centre to let the tractor parade continue.
Tear gassing & lathicharging Kisans is unacceptable.— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) January 26, 2021
Why, after the Delhi Police & Samyukt Kisan Morcha agreement?
Why is the government provoking a confrontation.
They must allow the peaceful, agreed tractor parade to continue.https://t.co/oVwpEdWF6S
Releasing a statement on horrific developments as India celebrated the 72nd Republic Day, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha 'condemned and regretted' the events that took place on Tuesday morning. The association of farmers' unions spearheading the movement against the three contentious farm laws said that 'antisocial elements' had infiltrated their otherwise 'peaceful movement'. Moreover, it thanked other farmers for the 'unprecedented participation' in its Republic Day parade.