A day after massive violence erupted during the Farmer Tractor Rally, on the Republic Day, fissures within different farmers’ groups started surfacing as two farmer groups, Kisan Sangharsh Committee and a faction of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) pulled out of the protest against the three farm laws.
“We can’t carry forward a protest with someone whose direction is something else,” said VM Singh of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, the first leader to distance himself from the agitation as it entered the 63rd day.
Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh, president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) said, “I am deeply pained by whatever happened in Delhi yesterday and ending our 58-day protest.” His group had been protesting at the
Chilla border. Following his announcement, farmers belonging to his group were seen packing up and leaving.
Farmers’ groups have alleged a conspiracy to “torpedo” their peaceful movement. Over 300 police personnel were injured in Tuesday’s violence and 22 cases have been registered, Delhi Police said.
Meanwhile, the agitating farmers have announced that they are planning a march to the Parliament on February 1 when the budget session would be starting.
The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday said that anti-social elements like actor-turned-farmer activist Deep Sidhu and others, along with the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee played a role like a “torpedo” to sabotage the farmers’ agitation.
The SKM or ‘Joint Farmers Front’, including 32 organisations, made the announcement after an emergency meeting at the Singhu border which is the centre of the farmers’ protest. “It was a deep-rooted conspiracy to damage the peaceful and strong farmers’ struggle,” it said.
Condemning the violent incidents during the tractor rally on Republic Day that left a farmer dead and many others injured, the organisations appealed to the farmers to “stay at the protest venues and continue a peaceful protest”.
On Tuesday, the agitating farmers clashed with the Delhi Police near ITO intersection in central Delhi, with the police firing the tear gas shells and resorting to lathi-charge to disperse the farmers.
The farmers, who started their ‘Kisan Gantantra parade’ much ahead of their scheduled timing entered the national capital defying the agreement of the scheduled time of tractor rally and creating multiple fronts at Karnal Bypass, Mukarba Chowk, Transport Nagar, Akshardham, Gazipur and Tikri border and some farmers armed with swords were also seen clashing with the police.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait and a few other farmer leaders have been named in an FIR filed by the Delhi Police over the violence that broke out in various parts of the national capital during the farmers’ tractor rally on Tuesday.
Many farmers and police personnel were left injured in the clashes.
(With IANS inputs)