New Delhi (IANS): A total of 22 First Information Reports (FIRs) have been filed by the Delhi Police so far in connection with the violence witnessed during a farmers’ tractor rally on the Republic Day, officials said on Wednesday.
The FIRs were registered under Sections dealing with riots, damage to public property and assault on public servants with deadly weapons.
The police have begun analysing video footage available to identify the violent protesters, who damaged public property and attacked Delhi Police personnel.
In all, 86 policemen were injured in the violence as farmers marched inside Delhi with their tractors ahead of the scheduled time agreed upon with police authorities of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Farmers had rallied with about 6,000-7,000 tractors at Singhu border around 8.30 am on January 26. As per the earlier-decided plan, they were supposed to reach Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar and then take a right turn. However, the protesters led by ‘Nihangs’ riding horses and armed with swords and other sharp-edged weapons charged at the police and broke through several layers of barricades set up between Mukarba Chowk and Transport Nagar, the Delhi Police said.
“At ITO, a large group of farmers, who had come from Gazipur and Singhu borders, attempted to move towards New Delhi district. When they were stopped by the policemen, a section of farmers became violent and broke through the barricades, damaged iron grills and road dividers and even tried to run over policemen deployed at barricades with their tractors,” a senior police officer said.
The farmers swarmed the Red Fort and waved farmer union flags from its ramparts. They even hoisted farmer union flags as well as a “Nishan Sahib” from a flagpole.
The cat-and-mouse games between the police and protesting farmers continued until late Tuesday evening. Most of the incidents were reported from Mukarba Chowk, Gazipur, A-Point ITO, Seemapuri, Nangloi T-Point, Tikri Border and Red Fort.
Nearly 300 artistes, including children, who were part of the official Republic Day parade in Delhi on Tuesday were rescued by police after they were stranded near the Red Fort due to violence and chaos in the area.