Farmers ' Protest: Actor Deep Sidhu has been named in the FIR in the Red Fort violence case.
Delhi Police's probe into the unprecedented violence during a tractor rally by farmers on Republic day is now focused on finding those involved in planting a Sikh religious flag at the Mughal-era Red Fort. Tuesday's tractor rally went rogue as protesters forced their way inside the fort complex and placed a flag. Several teams of Delhi Police's special cell or anti-terror unit are scanning through footage of violence at the iconic fort complex to identify those who hoisted the flag there. Actor-activist Deep Sidhu, whom farmers have accused of being responsible for the unprecedented violence during the Republic Day tractor rally, has been named in a case filed by the Delhi Police, sources told NDTV. A handful of farmer leaders have also been named in the 25-plus cases filed by the police since Tuesday evening. The cases will be probed by a special investigation team. The police has issued look-out notices against farmer leaders and others named in FIRs. Their passports too will be seized to prevent them from travelling abroad.
Here are the top 10 updates on farmers' protest violence:
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited two hospitals - Shushrut Trauma Centre and Teerath Ram Hospital - to enquire about the health of policemen injured in the violence.
The special cell of Delhi Police is looking for Deep Sidhu and another person named Lakha Sidhana. The police said Mr Sidhu will be summoned for questioning soon.
"If I'm being labeled a gaddar (traitor), then all farmer leaders are gaddars. If you claim lakhs of people were instigated by me, what kind of leaders are you? Will an RSS-BJP person put the Nishan Sahib flag on Red Fort? You are calling lakhs of farmers gaddars," Deep Sidhu said in Punjabi in a video on Facebook last night. He also accused the farm union leaders of "back-tracking".
It has now emerged that earlier this month, the police had registered a case against the banned US-based organisation, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections of the law, including sedition. During farmers' agitation, the outfit had given a call for hoisting flag at Red Fort. Sikhs for Justice had also announced a reward for the person who would hoist flag at Red Fort, the police said.
The Delhi Police has also issued a notice to farmer leader Darshan Pal, of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, asking why legal action should not be taken against him. The notice was sent for alleged violation of the agreement with the police regarding the route and time of the tractor rally.
The government on Wednesday denounced the violence in the capital. "Action should be taken against all of those who instigated others. India won't tolerate the manner in which the Tricolour was insulted at the Red Fort," said Union minister Prakash Javadekar. Accusing the Congress of instigating the farmers, he said, "The Congress wants to create a situation of unrest in the country."
One farmer died on the way to Red Fort on Tuesday, with Delhi Police saying it was an accident. His autopsy report shows he was not shot, as claimed by his family, the Uttar Pradesh Police said Wednesday. "He succumbed to the injuries he received after his tractor turned turtle," Avinash Chandra, a senior police officer of Bareilly region was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. CCTV footage of his tractor overturning was widely circulated.
16 opposition parties have demanded a probe into the centre's role the violence, Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad said. Opposition parties, which tried to block the farm bills in parliament, had requested President Ram Nath Kovind not to sign on the bills. The bills, they had said, were passed in the Rajya Sabha in an undemocratic manner. The President, however, had given his assent to all three bills.
Nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the violence in which 394 police personnel have been injured, the Delhi Police said. Fifty people have been detained and are being questioned. Action has been taken against 300-odd Twitter accounts since Tuesday. The Delhi Police said they have acted promptly on "intelligence inputs".
Farmers fear the new laws will deprive them of guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to exploitation by big business. Eleven rounds of talks have been held between the farmers and the government but there been no breakthrough. The farmers have turned down the centre's last offer to put the laws on hold for 18 months while a special committee conducts negotiations.