New Delhi: The Delhi Police has registered a sedition case in connection with the violence at Red Fort during the farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day.
A senior police officer told news agency PTI that a case under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered and the incident is “being investigated”.
Late on Wednesday, the Delhi Police had added the names of actor Deep Sidhu and gangster Lakha Sidhana in the FIR that was registered in connection with the violence.
Many farmers’ unions have pinned the blame for the rally deviating from the planned route on Sidhu and Sidhana, saying the duo ‘hijacked’ the parade. The violence at the Red Fort was also instigated by Sidhu, they claim.
Some news reports have stated that Sidhu is “missing“.
According to PTI, the Delhi Police added the names of Sidhu and Sidhana to a case registered at the Kotwali police station of North district under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other legislations. Provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act and the Arms Act have been added to the FIR.
The police have invoked charges of varying degrees, from attempt to murder and robbery/dacoity to obstructing a public servant.
In total, the police have registered as many as 25 cases, also arresting 19 people so far.
On Wednesday, the Delhi Police also issued a notice to farmer leader Darshan Pal over the violence during farmers’ tractor rally, asking why legal action should not be taken against him.
The police asked Pal to submit his response within three days.
The action comes after Delhi police commissioner S.N. Shrivastava alleged said farmer leaders did not follow the route that was set for the tractor rally.
The notice also cited violations of conditions set for the tractor parade. “Despite agreeing to the mutually decided terms and conditions for the rally, you and other farmer leaders acted in a very irresponsible manner yesterday,” the police said in its notice to Pal.
Police also asked Pal, who heads the Krantikari Kisan Union and is a member of the umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha, to identify those from his organisation who were involved in the violence.
Protester dies on Haryana-Rajasthan border
Indian Express has reported that a 56-year-old protester from Maharashtra who had been agitating at the Haryana-Rajasthan border for the last 10 days has died, allegedly “due to the cold”. The news portal said it was informed of the death by members of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
Sitabhai Tadvi, the report said, had also been a part of the January 26 tractor rally but left for her home state when she caught a chill. She passed away in Jaipur.
‘Locals’ protesting against Singhu agitation chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
The news agency ANI has tweeted a video showing people who have claimed to be locals demonstrating for the removal of protesters from the Singhu border. Notably, the protesters are heard raising the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’, associated with the far right and the BJP.
Late on Wednesday, videos showing Uttar Pradesh police lathicharging upon protesters at the Ghazipur border began going viral on social media. Farmers sleeping under blankets were seen being beaten in one such video.
Several Twitter users wrote that power supply at the protest site has been cut off and police have brought in additional water cannons to the site.
It is not clear yet if the protest site has been entirely emptied.
बड़ौत किसान धरने पर अभी अभी पुलिस का लाठीचार्ज पुलिस फ़ोर्स तैनात । मौजूद सभी किसानों को चोटे आयी है । pic.twitter.com/Qt3Z2GTyHe
— Himanshu chauhan Aap (@heemanshuchauh2) January 27, 2021
Amit Shah to visit injured police personnel
Union home minister Amit Shah, under whose charge the Delhi Police is, will visit two hospitals to see policemen who were injured on Republic Day. Delhi Police has said that nearly 300 of its personnel have been hurt after police teargassed and batoncharged protesting farmers on the day.
Red Fort to remain closed until January 31
Meanwhile, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) issued orders saying the Red Fort will remain closed for visitors from January 27 to January 31.
While the order does not mention the reason behind the closure, it refers to earlier orders of January 6 and January 18, when the iconic monument was closed from January 19 to January 22 due to a bird flu alert.
Thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO from the Ghazipur border clashed with police. Many of them driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument.
They also hoisted flags on the domes and the flagstaff on the ramparts of the national monument on which the national tricolour is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day.
Haryana to extend suspension of mobile internet
The Haryana government on Wednesday extended the suspension of mobile internet services in Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal districts till 5 pm on January 28 “to prevent disturbance of peace and public order”, an official statement said. All phone messaging and dongle services except banking and mobile recharge come within the ambit of this ban.
The mobile internet services were suspended in these districts on Tuesday during the farmers’ tractor rally.